Terrorist ‘Radicalising Networks’: A Qualitative Case Study on Radical Right Lone-Wolf Terrorism

The threat posed by terrorism today is changing rapidly—as have methods of study of this phenomenon, including analysis of radicalisation and the ‘terrorist cycle’. This chapter takes a qualitative approach to one aspect of contemporary terrorism, self-directed (‘lone wolf’) terrorism by right-wing extremists. Predominately plaguing the USA at first, solo actor terrorism by fascist extremists crossed the Atlantic in 1999 with David Copeland’s attacks in London, and most horrifically with Anders Behring Breivik’s murder of 77 people in Oslo and Utøya in 2011. Like these two terrorist murderers, the two case studies discussed here, Neil Lewington and Ian Davison, were also radicalised online through ‘passive’ and ‘active’ networks of support. Although interdicted before committing acts of terrorism, the different pathways of online radicalisation by Lexington and Davison are the central subject here.

Tags: Extreme Right, Forums, Qualitative, Radicalisation