U.K. Jihad & Lone-Wolf Radicalization
Our good friends in London yesterday got a graphic reminder of the danger posed by Islamic Jihadists when two Jihadists hacked to death a man, presumably not a Muslim, in broad daylight. In a post attack video prior to the police response one of the men spouted all-too-familiar anti-Western Islamic rhetoric including the quote above. Further, witnesses say the men chanted “Allahu akbar” during the bloody rampage. Sadly, the innocent victim’s death motivates the mainstream media to shed a rare light on the threat Islamic Jihad poses to the West in general. Moreover, that innocent civilian’s horrific death will cause other civilians to educate themselves about Islamic radicalization.
The incident quickly resurrected the debate over how to confront terrorism in Britain, which suffered dozens of deaths in a series of coordinated suicide bombs on July 7, 2005. That incident prompted a huge revamp of the country’s antiterror efforts, resulting in the thwarting of numerous plots in the years since.
The attack adds a bloody, new chapter to the history of terrorism in London, which in recent years has ranged from the bombings in 2005 to the stabbing of a member of Parliament by a woman influenced by a radical Muslim cleric.
In the aftermath of the so-called 7/7 bombings, the U.K. made huge investments of time and money in upgrading its ability to detect, thwart and respond to terror threats.
The attacks could represent a strain of a more recent kind of terror event that is difficult, if not impossible, for authorities to defend against: individuals acting opportunistically on their own, outside of traditional terrorist networks.
Last year, the head of the U.K.’s domestic intelligence agency, known as MI5, said the biggest threat facing the U.K. would come from “lone actors attracted to extremism and violence.”
The U.K. has been the scene of a series of terrorist attacks, ranging from large-scale bombings to so-called lone-wolf style attacks. (Block quote credit CASSELL BRYAN-LOW “A Killing Puts U.K. on Guard for Terror” Wall Street Journal 5/23/13)
Lone-wolf style Jihadist violence is not readily prevented by traditional law enforcement methods aimed at organized crime syndicates such as Al Qaeda. The isolated radicalization of these lone-wolves in the age of the Internet suggests Western governments (to wit: law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies) must take a radically different approach to how Islamic Jihad is identified and suppressed.
Clearly a two-prong approach against Islamic Jihad is required. One prong employs traditional investigative techniques to root out organized terrorist cells with connections to other terrorist criminals, possibly with connections reaching to Al Qaeda itself. The other prong employs non-traditional techniques such as taking an investigatory interest in folks who seem to be moving along the radicalization continuum (see link below). The non-traditional prong requires an in-depth understanding of the radicalization process as well the the underlying Islamic theology driving the radicalization.
The initial inquiry must be how isolated individuals (“lone-wolves”) are radicalized to the point of perpetuating violence without ever having met another Jihadist. In the Counter Jihad, knowledge is power. –by “Grizzly Joe”
To learn about the radicalization process see: