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Review of Jeffrey D. Simon’s “Lone wolf terrorism: understanding the growing threat”. New York: Prometheus books


Crime, Law and Social Change

Published online on


Jeffrey Simon’s book, Lone Wolf Terrorism, is one of the first books specifically devoted to a phenomenon that has garnered increased attention in policy, practitioner and academic circles over the past couple of years. For this reason alone, it offers a timely illustration of who these actors are, the factors that make them dangerous and the possible strategies that could be used to help mitigate their threat. The series of illustrative case studies that Simon provides in each chapter are particularly valuable.

Three core themes are pervasive throughout the book. The first argues that the “lone wolf is changing the dynamics of international terrorism” (p. 20). The second outlines “the key role that technology, particularly the Internet, is playing” in the rise of the lone wolf (p. 21). Finally, Simon depicts the lone wolf as “creative and innovative” because they are “not burdened by any group decision-making processes or inter-group dynamics that can sometimes stifle creativity in for ...