Lone-Actor Terrorists: A behavioural analysis, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Lone-Actor Terrorists

A behavioural analysis, 1st Edition

By Paul Gill


192 pages

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This book provides the first empirical analysis of lone-actor terrorist behaviour.

Based upon a unique dataset of 111 lone actors that catalogues the life span of the individual’s development, the book contains important insights into what an analysis of their behaviours might imply for practical interventions aimed at disrupting or even preventing attacks. It adopts insights and methodologies from criminology and forensic psychology to provide a holistic analysis of the behavioural underpinnings of lone-actor terrorism.

By focusing upon the behavioural aspects of each offender and by analysing a variety of case studies, including Anders Breivik, Ted Kaczynski, Timothy McVeigh and David Copeland, this work marks a pointed departure from previous research in the field. It seeks to answer the following key questions:

  • Is there a lone-actor terrorist profile and how do they differ?
  • What behaviours did the lone-actor terrorist engage in prior to his/her attack and is there a common behavioural trajectory into lone-actor terrorism?
  • How ‘lone’ do lone-actor terrorists tend to be?
  • What role, if any, does the internet play?
  • What role, if any, does mental illness play?

This book will be of much interest to students of terrorism/counter-terrorism studies, political violence, criminology, forensic psychology and security studies in general.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Who are the Lone-Actor Terrorists? 3. The Behavioural Underpinnings of Lone-Actor Terrorism 4. Why Go It Alone? 5. The Role of the Internet 6. Mental Illness and Lone-Actor Terrorism 7. Comparing Lone-Actor Terrorists 8. A Situational Crime Prevention Approach 9. Lone Actor Terrorist Dilemmas

About the Author

Paul Gill is Lecturer, Department of Security and Crime Science, University College London, and has a PhD in Political Science from University College Dublin.

About the Series

Political Violence

This book series contains sober, thoughtful and authoritative academic accounts of terrorism and political violence. Its aim is to produce a useful taxonomy of terror and violence through comparative and historical analysis in both national and international spheres. Each book discusses origins, organisational dynamics and outcomes of particular forms and expressions of political violence.

Founding Editor: David Rapoport

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Terrorism