The Lone Wolf Myth, or Why There is no Such Thing as Self-Radicalization

After the Orlando shooting, the American establishment has, once again, came out with the now familiar line of “the perpetrator appeared to be a “self-radicalized” sympathiser.

The problem with this statement is that it is misleading and extremely damaging to the success of our fight against global terror.

Over the past few years, we’ve been getting more and more terrorist acts in USA, Australia, Europe and everywhere else, where the attacker was after-the-fact portrayed as “self-radicalized”.

It would’ve been right, if we were talking about 1 or 2 incidents. But when it stops being an isolated event and starts resembling an avalanche of attacks, it is time to stop, take it all in, and finally call a spade a spade.

terror at Lindt Cafe, Sydney siege

Lindt Cafe, Sydney siege

We have a much bigger issue here. Each of these so-called Lone Wolves has spoken to at least one ‘handler” or “recruiter”; visited at least one website promoting radical Islam. Once we accept this, we will realise that the numbers are starting to add up. It’s not only few dozens of individuals who performed actual attacks. It’s now also at least a few dozens of their handlers, plus hundreds of people involved in running all those hat-spewing websites, plus high level operatives coordinating the flow of poisonous ideas and information.

All of a sudden, it looks less like a couple of single, not connected to each other events, and begins to look very much like a well-coordinated attack against the Western civilisation and our way of life.

London lone wolf attack

London lone wolf attack

One of the ways to limit “lone-wolf” activism is to restrict access to the propaganda both online and locally. If a site is known to spew hatred, we should shut it down if it’s based in your given country. If the site is located in a different country, blacklist it, stop it from being accessible locally. Let the freedom of information and expression warriors scream and protest all they want. If it’s not an online site, but a local radical Islam activist who’s poisoning minds and recruiting terrorists, put handcuffs on him and hide him in a dark cell for a long time… forever would be a good idea. If he’s happen to be a dual national, even better – send him back to the country that created him.

What we need, is a change in the way we deal with this threat. We need to change the way law enforcement acts on these matters. We need to get more serious on a government level about monitoring enemy’s on-line activity. And make no mistake – we are talking about a real enemy here. An enemy who is dedicated to destroying us.

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