Lone-Wolf Copycats: the Spread of Transnational Digitally-inspired Terrorism.

GMA 460L - Senior Seminar Research Lab

The rise of ideologically-motivated "lone-wolf" active shooter attacks constitutes a new phase of terrorism like nothing seen before. The perpetrators of these attacks are radicalized through the Internet, via digital communities with an environment supportive of political violence. This form of terrorism is self- perpetuating, as each new act of terrorism provides inspiration for future attacks. Unlike domestic terrorism of the past, these attackers are motivated by ideologies not confined by national borders or physical proximity. Likewise, terrorist attacks in one country ma inspire related attacks on the other side of the world. Unlike traditional international terrorism, these acts are not committed as part of any formal plan by an organized group. The patterns inspiration by which this form of terrorism spreads appear similar to the spread of school shootings. As these type of attacks are committed by individuals without the direct involvement of others online or in person, they are uniquely challenging to predict or prevent.