A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

Understanding Lone-actor Terrorism: A Comparative Analysis with Violent Hate Crimes and Group-based Terrorism


Understanding Lone-actor Terrorism: A Comparative Analysis with Violent Hate Crimes and Group-based Terrorism

Abstract: 

The objective of this project was to analyze lone-actor terrorism in relation to two seemingly related behaviors: group-based terrorism and violent hate crimes.  Most prior research on lone-actor terrorists attempts to profile their personality characteristics or highlight the unique threat posed by this form of terrorism.  Assessments that compare lone-actor terrorism to other forms of violence are few.  To begin filling this gap, we examined the timing, locations, methods, targets, and geographic distributions of lone-actor terrorist attacks, group-based terrorist attacks, and violent hate crimes that occurred between 1992 and 2010.  We then used data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to assess whether the counties in which lone-actor terrorism occurred shared common demographic characteristics with those that experienced group-based terrorism and violent hate crimes.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Deloughery, Kathleen, Ryan D. King, and Victor Asal. “Understanding Lone-actor Terrorism: A Comparative Analysis with Violent Hate Crimes and Group-based Terrorism.” Final Report to the Resilient Systems Division, Science and Technology Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. College Park, MD: START, 2013.

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