Criminology & Public Policy Volume: 12 Issue: 1 Dated: July 2013 Pages: 65-91
This study examined the differences in homicides committed by far-right loner extremists to those committed by other types of far-right extremists in the United States.
This article presents the results of a study that examined the differences in homicides committed by far-right loner extremists (loners) to those committed by other types of far-right extremists in the United States. This study is important for the following reasons: it quantitatively tested the differences between loners and other violent extremist offenders; most violent loner attacks have been committed by far-rightists and the number of such attacks appears to be increasing; the high degree of public and media attention to the recent cases involving extremist loners; and the challenges posed in preventing such attacks. The article begins with the results of a literature review and a discussion of 23 hypotheses on ways that loners may be different from other types of violent extremists. The results of the review and the hypotheses are organized into five general categories: Engagement with Far-Right Extremism, Nature of Social Relationship, Criminogenic Factors, Attack Style, and Personal Characteristics. The research review found that since the September 11th attacks, the number of lone wolf attacks has increased but no concrete reasons for the increase have been identified. The review also found evidence that loners are in fact, different in several ways when compared to other far-right extremists. In addition, the review found that increased emphasis on intelligence by law enforcement, the use of undercover operations and informants, and improved task force strategies have worked to lower and even prevent loner attacks. Tables and references
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