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Lone-Actor Terrorism: Policy Paper 2: Attack Methodology and Logistics

Simon Palombi and Benoît Gomis
Occasional Papers, 29 February 2016
UK Counter-terrorism, Lone-Actor Terrorism, National Security and Resilience Studies, International Security Studies, Domestic Security, Terrorism
This second policy paper of the Countering Lone-Actor Terrorism series examines the key variables relating to attack methodology and logistics, and suggests policy recommendations based on the analysis

Countering Lone-Actor Terrorism Series: No. 6

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.

This is the second of four policy papers in the CLAT series, published by RUSI on behalf of Chatham House. The CLAT project identified a need to understand the factors underlying the attack methodology and logistics of lone-actor terrorists. This paper provides an in-depth analysis of the key variables of the data set. The results are then used to develop a more nuanced understanding of the lone-actor terrorism threat in Europe.

About the Authors

Benoît Gomis is an international security analyst focusing on terrorism and organised crime. He is an associate fellow with Chatham House, an independent consultant and the author of Counterterrorism: Reassessing the Policy Response (CRC Press, 2015), which he wrote as a visiting scholar at the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society. He is a frequent contributor to World Politics Review, IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review, Oxford Analytica and the international media. He previously worked at Simon Fraser University, Royal Roads University, Chatham House, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and the French Ministry of Defence. He was educated at Sciences Po in Aix-en-Provence, Loyola University Chicago, and the London School of Economics and Political Science.


Simon Palombi is a consultant for the International Security Department at Chatham House. Simon has cultivated his expertise in the area of security policy with various organisations, including the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate in 2011 and the Lowy Institute for International Policy in 2011–12 and 2012–13. Simon is also the Research and Development Lead for a strategic advisory firm. Simon has degrees in International Relations (First Class Honours) and Law, and is on the roll of legal practitioners for the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Australia.

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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