chapter  12
17 Pages

Countering lone actor terrorism: networked security focused on deeds, not thoughts


As will have become clear from the previous chapters, researchers have searched in vain for any consistent profile of lone actors, or indeed of any kind of terrorist.1 The examples of lone actor terrorism presented in this volume only illustrate this difficulty. The FBI in 2009 formed a Lone Offender Task Force which would review behavioral traits of, and develop measures to identify, such perpetrators.2 The establishment of a new task force in itself showed that a consistent profile had not yet been found. MI5, the British security service, in a 2008 report had already concluded that “[i]ndividuals who become involved in violent extremism in the UK have varied characteristics and backgrounds and are, on the whole, demographically unremarkable.”3