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case study, downloadables, jihad/terror, just sharing, perspective, radicalisation / counter-radicalisation

Just sharing – Understanding the lone wolf terror phenomena: Assessing current profiles


Since September 11, 2001, various Western democracies have reformed and strengthened their national security apparatuses by introducing new organizational structures and policies to curb incidence of terrorism by violent extremist organizations. These changes have catalyzed several prominent intelligence communities into formidable challengers against large-scale centralized acts of terrorism. These successes, however, are being overshadowed by the emerging threat of lone wolf terrorism. Many scholars and policy-makers have attempted to create typologies of lone wolf terrorists by identifying behaviors akin to some type of radicalization processes. Although these potential categorizations have effectively provided reactive analysis, their research and policy prescriptions have been problematic and failed to provide proactive solutions or recommendations for law enforcement and the intelligence community. In this paper, we examine the literature on lone wolf phenomena. We then attempt to fill a gap in the extant literature by offering a new theoretical understanding of lone wolf behavior. Our proposed theoretical approach illustrates a fundamental understanding of the lone wolf terrorist through a complex hierarchical structure.


About Muhammad Haniff Hassan

Muhammad Haniff Bin Hassan is a Fellow. He holds a PhD and M.Sc. in Strategic Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (previously known as the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies), Nanyang Technological University. He received his early education in Aljunied Islamic School. He then continued his tertiary education at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, National University of Malaysia, with honours in Syar`iah and Civil law. Mr. Haniff is also active in social activities as a member of the Islamic Religious Council Appeal Board, HSBC Insurance Islamic Advisory Board from 2000 to 2014, Association of Islamic Religious Teachers and Scholars of Singapore (PERGAS) and Management Committee of Al-Irsyad Islamic School. He writes extensively in Berita Harian (a local Malay newspaper) and has also published articles in The Straits Times. He has published six books in his name, co-authored a monograph and helped publish two books for PERGAS and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore. His personal website in Malay is at


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