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Surveying American State Police Agencies about Lone Wolves, Far-Right Criminality, and Far-Right and Islamic Jihadist Criminal Collaboration


Surveying American State Police Agencies about Lone Wolves, Far-Right Criminality, and Far-Right and Islamic Jihadist Criminal Collaboration

Abstract: 

This study presents state police agencies’ perceptions about three significant terrorism issues on which there is little empirical research. All three issues have significant implications for understanding the role of state police agencies in responding to terrorism threats. First, the authors investigated whether the respondents believed that supporters of specified extremist movements tended to commit crimes as lone wolves, with others, or both alone and with others. Second, they were asked to provide data to gauge how often far-right extremists committed 13 crime types that varied in magnitude and motivation. Third, they were asked if they had knowledge about whether far-right extremists and Islamic jihadists had cooperated to commit crimes. These data were collected by surveying the 50 state police agencies in the United States. The results indicate that state police officials are concerned with both group and lone-wolf activities. Importantly, there was variation in the potential for lone-wolf crimes when comparing different types of extremist movements. The results indicate that far-right extremists are involved in a range of terrorist, preparatory, and routine criminal activities, but this involvement varies by region. Two state police agencies also indicated that they knew of Islamic and far-right collaboration. The study identified two other instances of direct collaboration and a number of other interesting cases through open source searches. The article concludes with a discussion of the policy implications of the findings and outlines directions for future research.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Chermak, Steven, and Joshua Freilich, Joseph Simone, Jr. 2010. "Surveying American State Police Agencies about Lone Wolves, Far-Right Criminality, and Far-Right and Islamic Jihadist Criminal Collaboration." Studies of Conflict and Terrorism (January): 1019-1041. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1057610X.2010.514698#preview

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