Lone wolf terrorism refers to politically motivated violence perpetrated by an individual who acts alone, who is not a member of a terrorist group or network, and whose plot is executed by the individual without any direct outside command or direction. Lone wolf terrorism is a tactic that has been employed by radical actors from a myriad of ideological milieus as well as by radicalized individuals with mental health problems. This entry concisely introduces lone wolf terrorism and discusses what is currently known about the topic. The entry concludes with a reflection on the implications of lone wolf terrorism for countering violent extremism.

Historical and Contemporary Patterns

Despite the spike in political and media attention since the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, ...

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