A number of analysts have identified a pattern behind the recent, terrorist events in France, Austria, and elsewhere. During the first months of Covid-19, there were few signs of attacks. Terrorist organizations may have been preparing vicious doings behind the scenes, however.
I do maintain that there is reason to consider the recent terrorist attacks as part of a Lone Wolf strategy. The concept of the Lone Wolf is to be framed as a broad one, with, in the current cases, Daesh likely encouraging single actors to strike and as the timeline of preparation of the recent events is still unclear.
A Lone Wolf is not always a person who acts in a vacuum. Lone wolves are ideologically inspired to do wrong.
As far as the recent, Covid-era attacks are concerned, there may have been signposts to strike, there may have been groomers at work behind the perceived and perceivable, as there may have been instances of what I have called abstract radicalization, i.e. static social media and other internet content. And we know that there has been more of such vicious content in social media, as of late.
To say that intelligence and law enforcement agencies did not see anything coming is wrong. On the contrary. Who knows what the agencies’ sheer vigilance and existence prevented… In this regard, there is also positive momentum from initiatives to take down terrorist content online, and to launch narratives countering extremism.
Thorsten Koch, MA, PgDip
5 November 2020