Understanding Lone Wolf Terrorism

Ramón Spaaij

Springer, New York and Heidelberg, 2012
Paperback, ISBN 978 9400 729 803

What drives the lone wolf terrorist to commit mass violence? What are their ideologies and motivations? How do they plan and carry out their attacks, and who do they target? How can lone wolf terrorism be effectively countered? One of the first in-depth analyses of lone wolf terrorism, this publication sets out to answer these questions. Drawing on extensive international data and qualitative case studies, it examines the global patterns in and key features of lone wolf terrorism over the past four decades. This engaging text will be essential reading for students and researchers on terrorism and violent conflict and offers unique and invaluable insights to those working to prevent or minimize the effects of terrorism and political violence.

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Understanding Lone Wolf Terrorism thus comes at a welcome time and succeeds in making this complex phenomenon comprehensible. … Ramon Spaaij’s slim but highly significant account is the first to crunch the numbers on lone-wolf terrorism. … this necessary first monograph on the study of lone-wolf terrorism”

– The Times Higher Education

"a compelling book that offers invaluable insights into lone wolf terrorism, and provides detailed exploration of this kind of terrorism often little noted within academic circles. ... Overall, the publication is essential reading for researchers, scholars and students interested in terrorism and international security.

– Journal of Peace Research

"a succinct and readable, and at the same time very nuanced and multidimensional discussion on the complexities around the phenomenon ... Spaaij’s book presents in many ways the state of art in understanding lone wolf terrorism at the moment and makes a major contribution to the literature. In fact, it will be hard to write about lone wolf terrorism in Western countries without taking this book into account."

– Terrorism and Political Violence

"An undeniable contribution"

– War on the Rocks

"[A]n important contribution to the literature ... this thoughtful and meticulous analysis makes ground-breaking observations."

– Perspectives on Terrorism

"a more than welcome addition to terrorism literature, opening up a number of doors ripe for future research."

– Terrorism and Political Violence