When strength is not in numbers: “Lone wolves” terror attacks in Europe

“The leaders of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are telling their followers: ‘Don’t bother to come here anymore, we’ll find something for you to do in the homeland.'”

On the day we interviewed Joby Warrick (The Washington Post), London had just been struck by a terrorist attack. Carried out by a single individual, the incident mirrored a number of attacks Europe had seen in 2016. From Nice to Paris and Berlin, “small cells or even single individuals”, as Joby remarks, hit the heart of some of Europe’s biggest cities with devastating effect.

In the wake of attacks in Manchester and London this last month, policymakers and academics across the continent will have to contemplate the prospects of future attacks. Questioning President Trump´s simplistic strategy to defeat the Islamic State with bombs, Mr Warrick asserts that “as the caliphate falls, we see these returnees [coming back to Europe] […] who are still very sympathetic to the cause, wishing to strike out in some way.”

Joby Warrick is a double Pulitzer Prize-awarded journalist and a national security reporter for The Washington Post. His most recent book “Black flags: The Rise of ISIS” (2015) traces the origins and progression of the Islamic State and has earned him his most recent Pulitzer.

The interview was recorded in Amsterdam on March 22nd, 2017.

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