This article reviews the book, “Age of Lone Wolf Terrorism,” by Mark S. Hamm and Ramon Spaaij.
The rise in lone-actor terrorism and its public and political prominence in recent years is reflected in the huge academic interest in the subject, strongly overlapping with efforts to understand the radicalization processes of home-grown terrorism. Accordingly, Hamm and Spaaij’s book is an extremely welcome contribution, providing a conceptual framework built on an extensive dataset, focusing on the long phenomenon of lone-wolf terrorism in the United States from 1940 until 2016. The book is ambitious in scope, featuring attackers across a broad range of ideologies, including the far-right, jihadism, and single-issue oriented attackers, along with less common instances of Black Nationalism and left-wing attacks. Beyond this, a significant section of the book is dedicated to analyzing the prevalence of the FBI’s “sting operations” against putative lone-actor terrorists. (Publisher Abstract)