Lone-Wolf Terrorism

The Southern Poverty Law Center warns of the rise of lone-wolf terrorism.

From a security perspective, lone wolves are much harder to prevent because there is no conspiracy to detect.

The long-term trend away from violence planned and committed by groups and toward lone wolf terrorism is a worrying one. Authorities have had far more success penetrating plots concocted by several people than individuals who act on their own. Indeed, the lone wolf's chief asset is the fact that no one else knows of his plans for violence and they are therefore exceedingly difficult to disrupt.

[...]

The temptation to focus on horrific groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State is wholly understandable. And the federal government recently has taken steps to address the terrorist threat more comprehensively, with Attorney General Eric Holder announcing the coming reconstitution of the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee. There has been a recent increase in funding for studies of terrorism and radicalization, and the FBI has produced a number of informative reports.

And Holder seems to understand clearly that lone wolves and small cells are an increasing threat. "It's something that frankly keeps me up at night, worrying about the lone wolf or a group of people, a very small group of people, who decide to get arms on their own and do what we saw in France," he said recently.

Jim Harper of the Cato Institute wrote about this in 2009 after the Fort Hood shooting.

Posted on April 8, 2015 at 10:15 AM • 58 Comments

Comments

JimApril 8, 2015 10:37 AM

The fear of terrorism in the US is ridiculous.

In a country where legal firearms are that easy to get and where thousands of people are shot dead each single year in normal crime, how can you be afraid of terrorists?

In a country with no reasonable social security and health care for the masses, you are worried to be killed by a terrorist?

If the government really cared about the safety and well-being of Americans, they would assure every American can afford good health insurance and that there is no poverty and slums in American cities like we see in 3rd World countries.

But instead, tremendous amounts of our tax-dollars go directly to the surveillance industry and their counter-terrorism ideology. We could make life for millions of Americans better with these tax-dollars now being sent to surveillance contractors.

RSaundersApril 8, 2015 11:00 AM

It is really a "long-term trend"? Ted Kaczynski wasn't part of a group in the 70's. Lee Harvey Oswald was working alone, infuriating conspiracy advocates to this day. Charles Guiteau acted alone in killing Garfield in 1881, whereas there had been a conspiracy to assassinate Lincoln.

Terrorism is an annoying trend in current crime, but not an existential threat to the US. While Cato and SPLC advocates would like to see the matter taken more seriously, it's simply a trend in local law enforcement concern; like the ebb and flow in popularity of an illegal drug.

Anonymous ChickenApril 8, 2015 11:04 AM

The SPLC itself is a lone-wolf (in the sense of organizations) rogue band of (often) paranoid twits, posing potential danger to very normal people throughout the nation. If "security" was in their forte, they'd consider this site "extremist" for daring to examine or question the details behind the technical subjects so typically misunderstood and resulting in familiar public blather. Extremism can manifest subtly too, notably in the form of linguistic and political abuse and witch hunts.

x0017AApril 8, 2015 12:22 PM

Man, if Holder is kept up at night by the rare and often low-death-toll lone wolf attacks, I hope he never finds out about car accidents, he'd never sleep again!

MattApril 8, 2015 12:30 PM

Jim is right. Look at the stats. How many Americans have been killed by terrorism in the last ten years? How many Americans have been killed by handguns in the last ten years? And Bruce, you're posting this link without pointing out how ridiculous it is?

d33tApril 8, 2015 12:36 PM

Cigarette smoking causes about one of every five deaths in the United States each year.

Cigarette smoking is estimated to cause the following:

More than 480,000 deaths annually (including deaths from secondhand smoke)
278,544 deaths annually among men (including deaths from secondhand smoke)
201,773 deaths annually among women (including deaths from secondhand smoke)

The Federal Government in the US Collected 15+ Billion in tax revenue from tobacco sales in 2011.

When I was a kid, catchy, comic ads and prize giveaways were offered by cigarette companies. Free cigarettes were given out at music venues and other places where kids congregated. There were cigarette ads on TV, in magazines and on billboards.

"Terrorism" is a common practice in the US. It's as "American" as apple pie and cigarettes.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasonsApril 8, 2015 12:51 PM

Where is the the concern for the lone bathtub--the one that threatens unwitting bathers with potential death???

What about the lone plastic bag--where in inadvertent application of such a bag could easily lead to death???

How about the lone meteorite--silently headed towards the earth that will kill without warning???

And of course, what of the lone staircase--lying in wait not revealing the unfeeling and cold and calculated ability to injury or kill???

These discussions have gone beyond ridiculous...

David LeppikApril 8, 2015 1:18 PM

@name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons: the difference is that nobody will get fired or grilled by Congress for failing to stop that bathtub, plastic bag, or meteorite.

LessThanObviousApril 8, 2015 1:29 PM

They combat threats such as these said lone wolves with targeted, but intrusive spying. They watch twitter feeds and Facebook. They monitor for a litany of specific buying patterns. I haven't seen much public discussion of exactly how the come by the information on buying habits when the items purchased are unregulated. Efforts by government to weed out dangerous people worry me more than the dangerous people do. Yes, there are cases where it is obvious that someone is having a mental crisis or is going down a rabbit hole of hate driven thoughts and we do need some reasonable and appropriate responses available to address issues. I don't want to see us go to the point of overly invasive monitoring and crisis driven nanny state policy. If for instance you tell people they can't own guns if they see a therapist or have recently taken any medication for mental health reasons, guess what, a lot of people will choose to keep their rights and avoid seeking treatment. Effective mitigation of lone wolf threats without harming the rights of others is a fine line. Effective mitigation in my view is a combination of good understanding of risk factors, monitoring certain high probability indicators that don't overtly harms civil rights, bolstering the mental health system to provide adequate resources, helping at risk youth and handling bullying, working to have good community relations with religious groups that often become alienated and even considering the level of anger and outrage that some people may suffer when we make state and foreign policy decisions. I'd also say we must find a way to curb the media attention given to individual perpetrators. It's clear there is a payoff for many lone wolf actors in that they get their 15 minutes of fame to have their voice heard after they do harm and often end their own lives in the process. If they couldn't count on nationwide attention and fame being focused on THEM, perhaps fewer of these individuals would find their acts to be worth the cost, perhaps there is a way we could unceremoniously cast them off, rather than immortalizing them.

Bob S.April 8, 2015 1:36 PM

The risk of death or injury due to a lone terrorist is infinitesimal. Meanwhile, fear mongering has become a primary means of fleecing tax payers not to mention repealing our rights.

As for getting fired for missing the terrorist, lone or otherwise, that never happens. As for grilling by Congress, so what? All "they" do is sit there and tell a pack of lies, demand more tax money and more powers to not-prevent the next one, and get it.

Billy BobApril 8, 2015 1:56 PM

Holder is an idiot (or at least getting paid well to pretend to be one). What should keep him up at night is heart disease, cancer, the growing percentage of obese Americans (including kids), perhaps traffic accidents, that sort of thing. Terrorism? Tragic, but in the grand scheme of things it's a drop in the bucket.

top lelApril 8, 2015 2:10 PM

paranoid criminal twats who spray santorum out of their asses all over the constitution, only to wipe with the bill of rights, and organizations of such individuals such as the FBI, NSA, and CIA, are the problem.

@Jim, @name.withheld.... etc, you are voices of reason - never stop telling it how it is

anonApril 8, 2015 2:13 PM

Bruce please comment on why we should trust non-quantum-resistant crypto.

anonApril 8, 2015 2:15 PM

Bruce, please comment on why we should use duckduckgo (puts search terms into url) over ixquick (does not put search terms in url).

Stephanie Frederickson with the Welcome WagonApril 8, 2015 3:17 PM

And what do you know, we just got another notorious lone wolf (who wasn't a lone wolf when FBI wanted to subject him to coercive interrogation, but then was a lone wolf again when FBI wanted to hide the fact that they were controlling his executed brother as a provocateur.) This lone wolf was very handy because the lurking menace of one wounded unarmed teenager proved that you can dupe a whole city into holding still for military counter-insurgency operations under unconstitutional general warrant.

BSchmitApril 8, 2015 3:24 PM

If lone wolf (primarily domestic) terrorism is a response to mass surveillance, Gitmo, TSA, torture, and various other abuses of the Constitution and basic human rights, the US government should *by all means* double down on the surveillance state, illegal detentions, naked body scanners, "enhanced interrogations," etc. in an effort to find and stop the lone wolf terrorists.

jonesApril 8, 2015 4:00 PM

@ Jim, Bob S.

Agreed.

As the State centralizes means of surveillance and thereby control, using nationalism and fear of statistical anomalies to justify increasing authority, it is verboten to discuss the fact that terrorism today is essentially a right-wing (authoritarian) phenomenon.

Understood as "conservatism" the right-wing position is inherently anti-rational: it says authority is justified by tradition, not reason. Osama bin Laden, for example, was a right-winger (salafist ultra-orthodox).

Even the "libertarians" use the language of "freedom" to mask what is essentially an authoritarian doctrine (capitalism). In a society where everything comes down to money, the concentration of wealth becomes indistinguishable from "might makes right" and "rule of law" gets sidelined. If one thinks one "votes with one's dollars" one gives up the democratic principle of "one person, one vote." The central irrationality of the libertarian position is this: they consider capitalism a "traditional value" without acknowledging that capitalism has been opposed to tradition since the late middle ages. Capitalism destroyed the extended family of the manorial estate, capitalism destroyed the intergenerational households of the 19th century (i.e., http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3202171/) and today, capitalism drives young people from their home towns in search of work, further degrading family cohesion.

Innovation by definition replaces tradition. Growth capitalism is incompatible with traditional institutions. This deliberate linguistic confusion is how the "conservative" position leads to radical social changes.

GWOLApril 8, 2015 4:18 PM

What we need is global war on loneliness. Just think, if someone, anyone had given Tim McVeigh the attention and affirmation that he craved, he might not have shot off his very convincing Rube Goldberg Kaboomatron. Who knows, he might have found peace and love with the fetching Carol Howe.

GrauhutApril 8, 2015 4:26 PM

Whenever they cry "Lone-Wolf" they mean "we want to screen you 24/7/365 cause we want your best", our tax money.

Super Social WolfApril 8, 2015 4:40 PM

I wish they would stop that 'lone wolf' BS but perhaps they see a need to coerce everyone into feeling that they better assimilate, or risk increased surveillance.

Maybe real lone wolfs are scary because the government cannot rely on surveillance of a persons communication when no communication exists.

@anon:
thanks for pointing that out about ixquick. I might switch from ddg.gg to that engine as I am not very fond of Verizon tracking my URLs.

WmApril 8, 2015 4:51 PM

Yes, as someone above said, we do have access to guns. It's called the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. You, of course, would be happy to just ignore that amendment. The truth is that here in Texas, such an event as was done in France will not happen here, because there is too much of a danger that nearby Texan can and will put an instant stop to it. You see, we respect guns and carry them here and are man (and woman) enough to use them. Your hatred for guns is not out of reason, but out of insanity.

Martin WalshApril 8, 2015 5:46 PM

@Jim

Your remarks about third-world countries do not add up. Can you explain why there is so little violent crime in many of the very poorest of countries, like Haiti?

I'm sure you would agree there are many factors. Many Americans possess guns their whole lives and never do anything bad. A few, they kill with or without a gun.

My question is, what is the basis for the assertion that poverty is the source/cause of violent crime? And even if there are statistics showing parallel trends, that has been the argument used by politicians for decades - we need more money to stamp out poverty to stop crime but it has NEVER worked. Do you really think the Federal Gov't can eliminate poverty?

BlueLightMemoryApril 8, 2015 6:05 PM

Never buy into the government's so called fears of lone wolf terrorism.

Let's see, fast and furious, Mr. contempt of congress Holder is kept up by fears of lone wolf terrorism? That's a huge laugh. The only thing that might be keeping Holder up at night is his guilt and worries that he is going to hang for his crimes against the American people.

The federal government is usurped. Their fears because of their treason is in over drive. This is why we see a vastly growing surveillance state beyond George Orwell's wildest dreams.

MarkApril 8, 2015 6:25 PM

@Jim agreed - the allocation of resources to (counter) terrorism is not rational

@Martin Walsh - Even dropping those assertions, can you accept that allocation tax resources to things like education, research, healthcare, roads etc etc etc... would provide more utility than the current trends (defence, surveillance etc)?

grahamcApril 8, 2015 8:09 PM

Is it really a long-term trend? I suspect that the ubiquity of pervasive media combined with society's increased propensity to panic at every possible threat mean that every lone-wolf attack gets given vastly more attention than it merits. It just _seems_ like a long-term trend.

Dirk PraetApril 8, 2015 9:31 PM

I'd be worried too about lone wolfs running amok when your police force keeps on shooting unarmed people all over the place and has killed more persons in one month (111 in March) than its UK counterpart since 1900. Sooner or later, people start taking offense at such practices.

@ Fraternal Order of Lone Wolves, Elohim City

μολὼν λαβέ, ...

+1 for quoting Leonidas.

@ Wm

Your hatred for guns is not out of reason, but out of insanity.

I recently came across an hilarious video of Australian comedian Jim Jefferies who sums up perfectly why other countries think US gun legislation is crazy.

5MT10010April 8, 2015 9:57 PM

This government's not threatened by terrorism. Terrorism is their lease on life. The only threat to them is getting caught. Exposure of their crimes.

Bradley Manning: 30 years.

Ali Mohamed: he's going to get sentenced, boy is he gonna get it, just you wait, uhh, where'd he go?

The subject population loathes this government. The government's true nightmare is the outside world getting fed up and giving us a reason to put their heads on sticks. Russia, India, China, Turkey all know where the bodies are buried. They know who the 'terrorists' work for. It's coming out.

It used to be you could look forward to a Soviet-type collapse for the US: disintegration and a pocket civil war, a few thousand casualties, all grunts and pigs. But the US government is far more degenerate than the Soviet end-stage regime. It's likely going to take a Romanian style coup with cathartic immolation at the top and years of chaotic adaptation. Then the outside world will step in and reconstruct successor states. Then we're home free. They've got it down to a science.

Martin WalshApril 8, 2015 10:21 PM

@Mark

I think Americans spend approximately $200 billion/yr on narcotics. Add to that the destruction that results, the violence, etc. but it's somehow the Federal Government is to blame?

Others cite the number of deaths caused by cigarette smoking and try to make the point terrorism is a diminutive threat by comparison. But notice the same fact is never cited when the issue of wasted money is brought up. No, everything is the Federal Government's fault.

NSAIApril 8, 2015 10:38 PM

Bank failed? Federal Government's fault.
Nobody with a brain buying your cars? Federal Government's fault.
Insurance company failed? Federal Government's fault.
Crappy phones? Federal Government's fault.
Airport losing money? Federal Government's fault.

Make terrorism more corporate ISIS style. It'll fail faster instead of in slow-mo like with AQ small franchise model. They have a Vatican hostile takeover plan. All the CEO's are targets.

65535April 9, 2015 12:34 AM

The lone wolf problem is complex and not easily solvable – but the same can be said for hidden gas leaks in New York buildings. Neither seemed be solved by the NSA.

Gerard van VoorenApril 9, 2015 1:13 AM

The War on Terror is, like the War on Drugs, and like any other war, a racket [1]. Fear mongering pays good (look at Bush Sr, Cheney, Blair, Alexander). What is Holders salary gonna be after 'Government Service'?

And Holder seems to understand clearly that lone wolves and small cells are an increasing threat. "It's something that frankly keeps me up at night, worrying about the lone wolf or a group of people, a very small group of people, who decide to get arms on their own and do what we saw in France," he said recently.

Dirk Praet (who is very well informed as usual) probably has it right when it comes to the police killings. They are severe and leave nasty wounds for bystanders with 'scarfs that do not heal' [2].

But I have to agree with Holder about one thing: A terror attack will happen sooner or later. The seeds are planted at numerous levels and during a significant amount of time. However going full scale in fighting the War on Terror, a war that only has losers (again at numerous levels) except the MIC, *obviously* isn't the answer. The answer is to not make a media circus out of it and to stop the escalating 'tit for tat' policy (esp Israel).

The Oklahoma bombing is in fact a good example. Timothy McVeigh was a former US sergeant who fought at the first Gulf War. Did he suffer from PTSD? He did have *a lot* of hate, that's for sure! And when you combine that with the way they handled Waco, he probably thought USG should be paid a lesson. Not that USG is a good learner.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Is_a_Racket
[2] Elton John - Daniel (about a Vietnam vet with PTSD)

AnuraApril 9, 2015 2:23 AM

This is why everyone should be assigned an antiterrorism agent to follow them around and watch them 24-7. Of course, each antiterrorism agent needs an antiterrorism agent to watch them as well. Therefore, we will need to employ 2/3rds of the country to be antiterrorism agents.

ImpuristApril 9, 2015 6:31 AM

...Is this a "security" news?

Well, if the USA really care about anti-terrorists, they should hire homeless to work as "hidden cop".
Unemployment get a job, USA become more safer than now. Two problems solved at once :P

BTW, I think the word "Lone-Wolf" means "anti-social people".

John Galt IIIApril 9, 2015 8:13 AM

Speaking of conflicts of interest, the Southern Poverty Law Center survives on grants, gifts and donations, and has an interest in beating the drums about the perils of lone wolves. All of the points made about relative risks are spot on.

After diet, exercise, cars, guns, bathtubs, and so on, it's OK to think about other threat models. The most disturbing thing that I got out of the loan wolf attack in Connecticut was realizing that insurance companies have a long-term interest in not promoting safety, or worse. Yes, it is in their short-term interests to have a more profitable year, but they essentially have a guarantee of getting a modest percentage of the future costs of destruction, be it cars and people, or buildings, or health. Hospitals have an interest in making mistakes that add tot he cost of care, but are small enough to not make a winning malpractice suit.

Oswald was just a patsy, and said so on national television. Count the number of months from "undue influence, sought or unsought" to the president's brains and skull fragments spraying downrange toward the back of the limousine. That bullet was not fired from the book depository, nor was it fired by Oswald.

k12April 9, 2015 8:25 AM

There is irony here.
If an institution gets rewarded for stopping attacks, then if it can identify likely prospects, there could be incentive to then stress the hell out of them, to ripen the fruit as it were.
Or foreign interests could do this, as an entirely deniable way to disrupt other countries.

Alex CoxApril 9, 2015 8:55 AM

The SPLC is a long-running scam to separate fearful liberals from their money. Its betes noires used to be white racists and the militia, but clearly the big bucks in fear-mongering are with "muslim terrorists" now.

OyApril 9, 2015 10:43 AM

Today in lone wolf news, we have

A hilarious account of the FBI in hot pursuit of AMERITHRAX lone wolf Ivins (a.k.a. CIA) The ace g-men clog-danced on their crank with pathetic greenhorns getting yanked on and off the job and randomly packed up and transferred to Siberia.

Infamous lone wolf Tam Tsarnaev and his 4,000 FBI handlers rehearsing him for his star turn in double-secret contacts with piteously inept tradecraft, confident that the Russians would never catch on.

d33tApril 9, 2015 11:12 AM

@Martin Walsh

"$200 billion/yr on narcotics"

"On April 17, 1986, the Reagan Administration released a three-page report acknowledging that there were some Contra-cocaine connections in 1984 and 1985, arguing that these connections occurred at a time when the rebels were "particularly hard pressed for financial support" because U.S. aid had been cut off. The report admitted that "We have evidence of a limited number of incidents in which known drug traffickers have tried to establish connections with Nicaraguan resistance groups." The report tried to downplay the drug activity, claiming that it took place "without the authorization of resistance leaders"

"Add to that the destruction that results, the violence, etc."

"Guns tracked by the ATF have been found at crime scenes on both sides of the Mexico–United States border, and the scene where United States Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed December 2010. The "gunwalking" operations became public in the aftermath of Terry's murder. Dissenting ATF agents came forward to Congress in response. According to Humberto Benítez Treviño, former Mexican Attorney General and chair of the justice committee in the Chamber of Deputies, related firearms have been found at numerous crime scenes in Mexico where at least 150 Mexican civilians were maimed or killed. Revelations of "gunwalking" led to controversy in both countries, and diplomatic relations were damaged.

As a result of a dispute over the release of Justice Department documents related to the scandal, Attorney General Eric Holder became the first sitting member of the Cabinet of the United States to be held in contempt of Congress on June 28, 2012. Earlier that month, President Barack Obama had invoked executive privilege for the first time in his presidency over the same documents."

"Others cite the number of deaths caused by cigarette smoking and try to make the point terrorism is a diminutive threat by comparison."

"Although Webb never claimed that the CIA directly aided drug dealers, it echoed the Kerry Committee conclusion that the CIA was aware of large shipments of cocaine into the U.S. by Contra personnel"

Terrorism *IS* a diminutive threat in comparison to all of the treacherous, murderous things the US Government continues to do today to people around the globe under the umbrella of "national security". If you like to travel or have an interest in other cultures, being an "American" abroad has gotten a lot more dangerous in the last decade and a half. I guess my question to people who work for the US Government right now is, if these acts and or omissions of truth are not the US Government's fault, then who is at fault? "By the people" died a slow "legal" death a while back.

k12April 9, 2015 11:15 AM

If you had the sense that an effort was afoot to compromise and control people in positions of influence, who would you go to about it, or would everyone already know? Has this always gone on?

SJApril 9, 2015 11:50 AM

I'm more worried about known wolf than lone wolf.

After all, an agency of the Russian government contacted the FBI about the Tsarnaev brothers. (If the rumors about the FBI trying to handle them as double-agents, and failing to do so, are true...then they were doubly-known wolves.)

And many inside the Army had worries about the sanity and intentions of Maj. Hassan.

BSchmitApril 9, 2015 12:28 PM

"...The truth is that here in Texas, such an event as was done in France will not happen here, because there is too much of a danger that nearby Texan can and will put an instant stop to it..."

You seem to have forgotten about the shooting at Fort Hood.

JimApril 9, 2015 2:27 PM

@Martin Walsh

I think you cannot expect from me that I present full evidence within a short comment under a blog post. We're not in court and this is no research paper.

But consider this: Have you ever been in Detroit? Or in any other place in the US where unemployment, poverty and hopelessness are daily facts? Do you feel safe in these areas? In fact, you're not safe in these areas, crime statistics you it to you. But why? Are black people the reason for the state of insecurity in these areas? What kind of argumentation line do you want to follow? Racism?

May I ask in what kind of neighborhood you live? Is it a middle to upper class area where the majority consists of Whites?

What about the slums in Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro? Do you really think the dangerous streets of these Brazilian cities have nothing to do with unemployment, poverty and hopelessness?

AMApril 9, 2015 2:53 PM

Stefan, nobody doubled Tam Tsarnaev. FBI extorted his cooperation as a provocateur, cast him as a scenery-chewing Mooslim boogyman, then blew him apart. It's the same career progression as Al-Awlaki, who was blackmailed with entrapment for soliciting, paraded around to preach jihad to random bewildered strangers, then blown up as an extremist.

Official surveillance is suspended while the patsy is being set up, so naturally Sargeant Schultz of the FBI knows nothing about Tsarnaev. Killing Tamerlan then let the judge hide the clowns who ran him from the jury.

Ask your cop buddies. If they didn't just fall off the turnip truck, they know how it works.

rgaffApril 9, 2015 6:24 PM

The only way to detect and prevent "lone wolf" crime, is to monitor EVERY SINGLE THING ABOUT EVERY SINGLE PERSON... and build probability models on the likelihood of every single person, globally, individually going postal and shooting up the place. Then arresting them when their "score" gets too high, before they actually do the deed. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY. PERIOD (us). FULL STOP (eu). Nobody sees any problem with this at all? It's like spam filters, lots of false positives, and false negatives... Nobody cares?

Here's an illustration:

The other day, I bought a plunger, because my old one didn't work (the rubber had become stiff/brittle instead of bendy/pliable). And I sent a text message to a friend joking about the "waterfall" in my bathroom, and what a mess it was to clean up...

Now... we KNOW, via Snowden disclosures, that the NSA shares stuff with the DEA... and we've all heard that drug dealers and druggies might resort to flushing certain, ahem, things down the toilet to get rid of the evidence when they're in a tight pickle... right?

So therefore, will there come a day when my buying a plunger and texting the word "bathroom" or "thone" etc to a friend raises my score on the likelihood that I'm involved in drugs? And increase surveillance on me by the DEA, to try to catch me at it? Maybe this day has already arrived and we just don't know it? Why not?

The world is utterly mad, that's all I can say.

Wesley ParishApril 10, 2015 4:48 AM

@rgaff

Of course, the real reason for the NSA's huge data storage facilities and associated backdoors in everything under the sun is to facilitate the expansion of phishing as a professional sport. As the saying goes, give a man a phish and you starve him for a day or until he's no longer an undischarged bankrupt: teach him how to phish with an almost infinitely large and customizable database, and you starve with everybody else.

Just think: hidden in the NSA's plans, and no doubt eagerly adopted by the rest of that alphabet soup, the National Intelligence Communities of Like-Minded Nations, is the likeliehood that Western Civilization will end with a whimper, not a bang, as millions of people discover their banks have gone belly-up due to the NICs and associated and related vulnerabilities ...

Wesley ParishApril 12, 2015 4:13 AM

And Holder seems to understand clearly that lone wolves and small cells are an increasing threat. "It's something that frankly keeps me up at night, worrying about the lone wolf or a group of people, a very small group of people, who decide to get arms on their own and do what we saw in France," he said recently.

Now isn't that interesting? It's not a sin. Mr Holder, we can help you. We can rebuild you! (fitwerme, I'd be more worried about Devil Bunnies, particularly Bionic Devil bunnies, but, each to their own ... )

James SutherlandApril 12, 2015 6:54 PM

@BSchmit: Fort Hood was one of the few almost gun-free zones in that state - ironically, the "armed forces" are themselves rarely armed on base, except for their own military police, which is why it took so long to stop the shooter in both Ft Hood shootings.

vas pupApril 16, 2015 2:47 PM

Did you have a chance to see movie 'Law Abiding Citizen'? Content related to the subject directly.
Lone wolf is pained in body or/and troubled in mind with real or imagined injustice.
As you may remeber Al Capone: "With kind word and a gun you could get more than just with kind word."
When all kind (and I'll add reasonable) words are not helpful, then gun speaks and you get cases which could be prevented with fair, timely and affordable (when no mental health problem exists) conflict resolution through legal system, arbitration, community and love and therapy when mental health problem present.
When somebody gets and intrenalizes the idea of the statement: 'you are on your own', then vaccum of loneliness could be filled in by those who could USE this person by radicalization for their own goals.

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