Abdalaziz Alhamza “RBSS”
The lone wolves phenomenon has become one of the most important challenges that face the international intelligence. Several major terrorist attacks have been committed by lone wolves in Germany, France, Belgium, Turkey and Tunisia. The biggest concern here is that these lone wolves are not related to certain terrorist group but they adopt the methodology that gathers all Jihadist groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda.
The term (Lone Wolves) is not a new one; several international intelligence agencies have used this term to indicate to terrorist attacks made by Al Qaeda either in Saudi, Kuwait or others. When the security situation does not allow for a group work, the terrorist groups go with the individual solution, the lone wolves.
This kind of terror attacks does not have any special goals; it only aims to kill as many people as it is possible just to spread terror among the targeted communities. The terror attack might be in a street, in a collage, a stadium, a shopping centre or even in a mosque.
ISIS seeks to mainstream this phenomenon in order to lower the pressure over the group’s controlled areas in both Iraq and Syria and move the battle to his (enemies) lands especially after losing all the borders with Turkey.
The lone wolf turns at anytime from being a (sleeper cell) to the attacking phase, especially when realizing that he has been discovered, in this case it is impossible to follow him before committing the attack.
When ISIS adopted the attacks of Texas and California, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter indicated that the attack is inspired of ISIS not under its command which is consistent with lone wolf method.
The terrorist attack in Barodo Museum in Tunisia, which killed 188 civilian, is also under the lone wolf method. Sydney’s attack, which was committed by the Iranian immigrant Haroun Monies in December 2015 when he held dozens of hostages, is also under the same method.
However, the most serious attack was in Paris which targeted Batkalan Museum and the international stadium and killed 129 civilians and dozens of injuries. This incident is considered a complete change in lone wolves method because of the type of used arms and the targeted location. The attacks were committed by a network of eight individuals including one suicide woman; it was led by Ismail Mostafaui, 29 years old French person, and Ibrahim Abdulsalam, a Belgian of a Moroccan origin, who was the mastermind of the attacks.
The first to talk about this method among the Jihadist groups was Abu Musab Al Suri, who was known as Mustafa Al Sit Maryam, in his book (Invitation of the Islamic resistance) which was published in 2004.
ISIS vowed through one of their videos produced by Dabiq agency called (Lone Wolves, the Islamic state Army) to move the battles to the (crusade lands). The terrorist group also published videos to teach the lone wolves how to make bombs and gave practical lessons of how to use the knives in a fatal way. Some others used run-over method which does not need any arms or equipment and makes it a lot more difficult for police to predict this kind of attacks.