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The Challenge of Lone Wolf Jihadists

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By Joe Charlaff

Since October 1, 2015, when an Israeli couple was killed in a shooting attack while driving with their four children, there have been a series of attacks on Israelis, mainly by Palestinian teenagers using knives, guns and cars.

The attack marked the beginning of a wave of terror incidents known as lone wolf attacks, which are not planned or coordinated by any of the terror groups.

A car-ramming attack at the entrance to Jerusalem, in which the Palestinian driver drove into a bus stop wounding 14, has shown that hermetic protection is difficult to provide.

These attackers might not have shown any previous signs of radicalization. Stabbing a person with a kitchen knife by a young terrorist might not be taken as seriously as an attack planned by an organized terror group; nevertheless, it is no less deadly. The perpetrators might not be “commissioned” to carry out attacks, but they have the blessing of radical Islamic jihadi groups encouraging others to do the same.

Another recent attack carried out by a lone terrorist who managed to smuggle a rifle into his rucksack shot at a crowd relaxing at a pub in central Tel Aviv on a Friday afternoon, killing two and injuring seven. He managed to escape. His apparent reason was revenge for the police shooting his cousin. A copy of the Koran was found at the adjoining grocery store he’d visited before the shooting. The success of this attack will likely motivate others to take similar action, authorities fear.

The age of the attackers range from 18 and younger, and is not limited to gender. Two days ago, two 13-year-old Arab girls from the Israeli city of Ramle went to the central bus station carrying school bags. When the security guard at the entrance asked them to show him their identity cards, one pulled a knife out of her bag and stabbed him. Following their arrest, they told security service investigators they had come to the bus station with the express purpose of stabbing Jews. They were another link in the chain of attacks of lone assailants.

Read the full article at HSToday.

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