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The Legend of the Lone Wolf Terrorist

When I last wrote about this subject, I called them "homegrown" terrorists, the phrase of the month a year and a half ago.  Back then, such imaginary monsters were bombing marathons;  today they are shooting Canadian parliamentarians and security guards, and attacking NYPD guys with their jihadi axes.

It doesn't really matter what you call them, because they're figments of the "expert" imagination. The legend-mavens tell us that there are "normal" Americans (this part is very important) who somehow just go bad, and turn into murderous terrorists.  There is no foreign input, no alien country or intelligence service, no global conspiracy.  The terrorists are homegrown and they are on their own.  Lone wolves.

It's not so. Patrick Poole has the data for us:

"...Max Abrahms at Northeastern University has observed:

Since the advent of international terrorism in 1970, none of the 40 most lethal terrorist attacks has been committed by a person unaffiliated with some terrorist group, (my emphasis.  Notice carefully, "none") according to publicly available data from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, which is funded by the Department of Homeland Security and stored at the University of Maryland. In fact, lone wolves have carried out just two of the 1,900 most deadly terrorist incidents over the last four decades.

That's pretty impressive, don't you think?  I'd like to know the two-out-of-nearly-two-thousand real cases of lone wolves on the attack, but I'll bet you ten to one they weren't jihadis.

There ARE homegrown terrorists, like the Unabomber, but these aren't the people we're talking about just now.  Unabomber is a nut, but he's a distinctly American nut, and definitely a lone wolf.  The so-called lone wolves of recent days--the killer in Canada, the axeman in New York, and, we should add, the Oklahama City decapitator--aren't loners, they're members.  They've been inspired by local or online jihadis.

Another thing.  These jihadis often turn out to be converts, even "recent converts."