Lone wolves are hard to detect

France and other Western nations, especially the United States, have a serious problem to address in the form of 'lone wolves'.

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Published: Wed 27 Jul 2016, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 27 Jul 2016, 2:00 AM

Europe and the world are in a constant mourning following regular incidents of violence. Another attack, this time in a church near Rouen in northern France, has left a priest dead. Policemen killed both the armed men who entered the building. There are conflicting reports about the shootout, with many saying they were killed in cold blood after being apprehended. The intruders took the priest and four other people hostage, and were holding them till the shootout occurred. Authorities were light-lipped and did not divulge the identity of the gunmen nor their origin. But it is certain that anti-terrorist prosecutors will investigate the incident. France is already in a state of emergency since the Bastille Day massacre in Nice, and this new attack will test its resilience.
France and other Western nations, especially the United States, have a serious problem to address in the form of 'lone wolves'. They are discreet, live a life in the shadows and do the bidding of terror handlers. The shootout in Louisiana, Orlando, Munich and the self-immolation attempt by a Syrian refugee in Germany point to a bizarre phenomenon where terrorists are insiders. They are amongst us. Alientation from society, lack of opportunity are some of the reasons for people going astray and resorting to violence. Policy makers are talking integration in the time of migration. There are no quick-fixes to the problem. What's needed is a policy overhaul. Quicker response and better surveillance. Back-to-back attacks prove that terror elements have indeed sneaked into the country, or have been entrenched. They could be Daesh sympathisers, or from Al Qaeda. What we are witnessing is urban warfare, and it's spreading to major cities of the world. Intelligence agencies should share more information to prevent such attacks, but it's tricky when it comes to lone wolves who are difficult to detect - like searching for a needle in a haystack.
 
 


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