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Personal Characteristics of Lone-Actor Terrorists

29 Feb 2016
Long read by Edwin Bakker

This Research Project Report analyses personal variables of 120 perpetrators of lone actor terrorism, resulting in a number of policy recommendations. The authors emphasise the importance of focusing on different subgroups and of benchmarking in order to accurately interpret results. Likewise, they underline the necessity of lowering barriers to mental health services, as well as multi-agency cooperation. Taken together, these factors would contribute to formulating an effective response to the challenge of lone-actor terrorism.

This paper is the fifth publication in the Countering Lone-Actor Terrorism (CLAT) project, which aims to improve understanding of, and responses to, the phenomenon of (potentially) violent lone actors through analysis of comprehensive data on cases from across Europe. The eighteen-month project is co-funded by the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme of the European Union and is implemented by a consortium consisting of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), Leiden University's Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) on behalf of ICCT, The Royal Institute of International Affairs Chatham House, and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD).

Read the Lone Actor Terrorism Policy Paper 1: Personal Characteristics of Lone-Actor Terrorists.

Please find below all other publications which have been published as part of the CLAT series

Lone-Actor Terrorism Policy Paper 2: Attack Methodology and Logistics

Lone-Actor Terrorism Policy Paper 3: Motivations, Political Engagement and Online Activity

Lone-Actor Terrorism Policy Paper 4: ‘Leakage’ and Interaction with Authorities

Lone-Actor Terrorism Analysis Paper

Lone-Actor Terrorism Toolkit Paper 1

Lone-Actor Terrorism Toolkit Paper 2 Lone-Actor Terrorism Final Report