Tags: Emerging Threats | ISIS/Islamic State | War on Terrorism | terrorists | jihadists | lone wolf | Ottawa

NYPD's Bratton: Lone Wolves Threaten New Wave of Terror

Monday, 27 October 2014 08:43 AM

Following the hatchet attack on two officers last week, New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton has warned that the threat of lone-wolf terrorist atrocities is steadily increasing.

"There is a growing number of these individuals out there," said Bratton, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Hatchet-wielding Zale Thompson, a self-radicalized convert to Islam, wounded two police officers, one of them critically, when he randomly attacked them Thursday on a Queens street.

Police said that Thompson, 32, who was shot dead by two other cops, had made anti-Western postings on social media and had visited websites associated with several radical Islamic groups.

His barbaric act came the day after the shooting of a soldier in Ottawa, Canada, by a lone gunman at the National War Memorial, which is also being investigated as a terrorist attack by a self-radicalized jihadist.

John Cohen, who recently resigned as the top counterterrorism official at the Department of Homeland Security to teach at Rutgers University, told the Journal that the U.S. counterterrorism experts are not trained to deal with such attacks.

"What we saw in Canada and in New York is an illustration of how the extremist threat has evolved," Cohen said. "The threat facing the U.S. now has a different element to it, and those traditional counterterrorism apparatuses are not well-suited" to identifying potential perpetrators.

John Miller, the NYPD deputy commissioner who oversees the city's counterterrorism and intelligence units, traveled to Florida last week to speak to police chiefs in that state, warning them about the increasing danger from self-radicalized terrorists.

"The common threads that go through those conversations are anti-Western, anti-government, in some cases anti-white," Miller told the Journal, referring to online radical Muslim websites that urge disaffected young men to commit random acts of violence against police and authority figures.

Miller said Thompson's Internet history showed that just before his attack on the two officers he had been studying beheading videos released by the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group and had been reading about the attack on the soldier in Ottawa.

The soldier, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, was gunned down by 32-year-old petty criminal Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a recent convert to Islam, who was armed with a rifle and dressed in black, his face half-covered with a scarf. He was later shot dead.

"It appears, just from the electronic forensic piece of this, that this is something [Thompson] has been thinking about for some time and thinking about with more intensity in recent days," Miller said.

The incidents in New York and Ottawa are the latest in a growing number of lone-wolf attacks and plots by radicalized Islamic extremists across the world, according to reports.

Apart from the recent beheading in Oklahoma, there have been incidents in Belgium, England, France, Australia, and Malaysia, as well as another lone-wolf attack in Canada just three days before the Ottawa atrocity.

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Following the hatchet attack on two officers last week, New York Police Commissioner William Bratton has warned that the threat of lone-wolf terrorist atrocities is steadily increasing.
terrorists, jihadists, lone wolf, Ottawa, New York
Monday, 27 October 2014 08:43 AM
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