Joint FBI and DHS Report Warns of “Lone Offender” Terrorist Threat

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) recently issued the Strategic Intelligence Assessment and Data on Domestic Terrorism. This report warns that:

greatest terrorism threat to the Homeland we face today is posed by lone offenders, often radicalized online, who look to attack soft targets with easily accessible weapons. Many of these violent extremists are motivated and inspired by a mix of socio-political goals and personal grievances against their targets.

Lone offenders have also been referred to as “lone actors” or “lone wolf terrorists.” In this particular report, the FBI and DHS define a lone offender as “an individual motivated by one or more violent extremist ideologies who, operating alone, supports or engages in acts of unlawful violence in furtherance of that ideology or ideologies that may involve influence from a larger terrorist organization or a foreign actor.”

This joint FBI-DHS report provides a strategic intelligence assessment, a discussion of activities, certain data on Domestic Terrorism matters, and recommendations as required by Section. 5602 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020.

For additional information on topics related to this piece, check out the HSDL Featured Topics resources on Domestic (U.S.) Terrorism and Lone Wolf Terrorism.        

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