In the post 9/11 world, lone-offender attacks have become more salient and have attracted increasing attention from policymakers and security officials. While there is no profile for group-based terrorists, this project seeks to determine whether there may be a profile for lone-actor offenders. In particular, this research highlight aims to improve understanding of lone-actor terrorists by looking at two similar types of violent offenders: assassins and school-attackers. These actors resemble lone-offender terrorists in that they plan and perpetrate violence, the great majority act alone, and most act out of some perceived grievance rather than for material self-interest.
Data for this study are drawn from two U.S. Government–sponsored reports: Assassination in the United States (1999) and The Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative (2002).
McCauley, Clark, and Sophia Moskalenko, Benjamin Van Son. 2014. "Characteristics of Violent Lone-Offenders: A Comparison of Assassins and School Attackers." START. College Park, MD. May. http://www.start.umd.edu/pubs/START_LoneActorViolentOffenderComparisonAssassinSchoolAttacker_May2014.pdf