HEM 352 Excelsior College Lone Wolf and Leaderless Terrorists Discussion

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HEM 352

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  1. Describe the various research finding regarding the differences between lone-wolf and leaderless terrorists, and whether their behavior may be directly influenced by their mental condition.
  2. Explain how the Internet and social media play a significant role in recruiting and radicalizing lone-wolf and leaderless terrorists.
  3. What legal and ethical policies and procedures do you think law enforcement officials should implement when responding to domestic terrorism. Consider whether they are consistent with a democratic government’s legal and ethical responsibilities

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DOMESTIC TERRORISM

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Responding to Domestic Terrorism
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DOMESTIC TERRORISM

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Responding to Domestic Terrorism

Differences between Lone-wolf and Leaderless Terrorists
The most discussed form of domestic terrorism by media is lone wolf terrorism. Michael
(2012), indicates that there has recently been a noticeable trend and increase of acts of terrorism
performed by individuals and small cells, who have little connection or none at all to formal
organizations. Media headlines have over the past few years been full of lone-wolf incidents
performed by assorted radicals (Michael, 2012).
On the other hand, leaderless terrorism is a strategy in which small groups and
individuals fight an entrenched power through independent acts of mayhem and violence
(Garfinkel, 2003). The main characteristic is that the cells lack central coordination, and do not
have explicit communications among their members. The major difference between these two
forms of domestic terrorism is that in lone wolf terrorism, atrocities may be performed by a
single individual while in leaderless terrorism, atrocities are carried out by a group of terrorists
who lack a well-coordinated structure or central authority.
One of the key factors that has been presented as the cause of domestic terrorism,
whether lone wolf or leaderless is mental illness. The debate has continued for a long time
among psychiatrists as to whether mental illness could lead individuals to such acts. Some of the
most notable cases like the 1999 Columbine High School mass shooting and the 2012 shooting at
Newton have been heavily linked to mental illnesses. Despite such links, there...


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