Phares to Fox News: "Lone wolves are not isolated, they act alone but are connected" PDF Print E-mail

In an interview on Fox News with Heather Childers Terrorism expert Walid Phares said "lone wolves are not really isolated. In fact they may act alone but are connected to a web of other Jihadists in different ways and channels." Phares, who teaches Global strategies in Washington advises members of the US Congress and European Parliament on Terrorism. He is the author of several books on Jihadism including Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies against America and the West; The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy and The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad. Phares said "the lone wolves operating within the US and the West in general, are becoming the widest group of Jihadi terrorists over the past few years. One main reason for this transformation is the fact that US and Western law enforcement and Counter Terrorism entities have been successful in tracking down cells and intercepting operatives launched from overseas, such as Mohammed Atta and Ziad al Jarrah of the 9/11 attacks. Hence, the al Qaeda and international Jihadist war room shifted strategies and with the help of speeches, guidelines and multiple documents online and in other ways, urged the Western Jihadists to act as lone wolves, meaning to act alone and strike as individuals or very small cells."


Phares said: "the lone wolf method is a strategy employed by al Qaeda and its allies so that Western Governments are unable to detect all the terror attempts. When those young men and women go to internet, they find all the ideological material and guidelines which indoctrinate them and prep them as individual lone wolves. Even if these individual Jihadis aren't members of al Qaeda and or other Jihadist organizations they nevertheless act on behalf of the same goals and are indoctrinated by the same ideology. The strategic desire of al Qaeda is to have a Jihadi force working on the US homeland and striking from within. Hence those lone wolves in fact, even though not members of the organizational structure or with minimal email contact with overseas Jihadists are part of the global web. They act alone but they are connected."

Phares concluded "that while counter terrorism efforts are successful in detecting and countering the terrorists, the US and the West have no strategies to counter radicalization, which in fact is the producer of Terrorists. Ideology is the root cause of radicalization. If there are no counter ideology policies there are no counter radicalization measures."


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