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Lone-Actor Terrorism: Definitional Workshop

Edwin Bakker and Jeanine de Roy van Zuijdewijn
Occasional Papers, 22 December 2015
UK Counter-terrorism, Lone-Actor Terrorism, National Security and Resilience Studies, International Security Studies, Domestic Security, Terrorism, Europe
The first step in assessing the nature and scale of the threat posed by lone-actor terrorism in Europe is the establishment of a working definition of the term

Countering Lone-Actor Terrorism Series: No. 2

The aim of the Countering Lone-Actor Terrorism (CLAT) project is to understand lone-actor terrorism in a European context. The project will develop a database of lone-actor cases from across Europe. Its overall objective is to see if it is possible to discern any trends or patterns that could be translated into useful observations or recommendations for practitioners and policy-makers. During the first workshop of the CLAT Consortium, held in The Hague in January 2015, several academics and professionals were invited to help to define lone-actor terrorism (LAT). The aim of this two-day meeting was to arrive at a working definition of LAT that will be used when collecting cases for the database.

The presentations, discussions and personal definitions of the workshop participants are summarised in this report.

About the Authors

Professor Edwin Bakker is Director of the Centre for Terrorism and Counterterrorism at Leiden University and Fellow of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism in The Hague. Dr Bakker has a research interest in home-grown jihadist terrorism, lone-actor terrorism and the impact of terrorism on societies. He teaches the massive open online course at Coursera.org ‘Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory and Practice’ that has attracted more than 100,000 participants.

Jeanine de Roy van Zuijdewijn is a Researcher at the Centre for Terrorism and Counterterrorism at Leiden University and Research Fellow of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism in The Hague. Her research interests include lone-actor terrorism, foreign fighters and how threat assessments are made. She has assisted Dr Edwin Bakker in developing the massive open online course on terrorism and also teaches this course to undergraduate students.

About the Project

The Countering Lone-Actor Terrorism (CLAT) project is co-funded by the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme of the European Union, and has been undertaken by a RUSI-led consortium. Partnering institutions include Chatham House, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) and Leiden University, one of the founding organisations of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) at The Hague.

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