Lone-Actor Terrorism Policy Paper 4: ‘Leakage’ and Interaction with Authorities

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This fourth policy paper of the Countering Lone-Actor Terrorism series examines how lone-actor terrorists reveal their intent to commit attacks and recommends a targeted approach based on the characteristics and motivations of the specific threat

Countering Lone-Actor Terrorism Series: No. 8

The aim of the Countering Lone-Actor Terrorism (CLAT) project is to understand lone-actor terrorism in a European context. The project will develop a database of lone-actor cases from across Europe. Its overall objective is to see if it is possible to discern any trends or patterns that could be translated into useful observations or recommendations for practitioners and policy-makers.

This is the fourth and final policy paper in the CLAT series. It outlines the policy implications of analysis in relation to changes in perpetrator behaviour, ‘leakage’ of extreme views or intention to act, and interactions with public authorities in the time leading up to an attack. It provides a series of practical policy recommendations in order to develop an effective response to various lone-actor threats.

About the Authors

Clare Ellis is a Research Analyst in the National Security and Resilience Studies Group at RUSI. Her research interests include counter-terrorism, organised crime and the role of policing in tackling national security threats. Prior to joining RUSI she worked in the criminal-justice sector, first within criminal defence and later within the police. Clare holds an MSc with Distinction in Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism from University College London. She has also studied at the University of Newcastle and the Université Lumière Lyon 2, holding a Bachelor’s degree in Law with French.

Raffaello Pantucci is Director of International Security Studies at RUSI. He has worked at think tanks in London, Washington and Shanghai, and his work on terrorism has been published in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Terrorism and Political Violence, Survival, the RUSI Journal, as well as media outlets including The Times, Guardian, Sunday Times, New York Times, Financial Times and Prospect. He is the author of We Love Death as You Love Life: Britain’s Suburban Terrorists (Hurst/Oxford University Press, 2015).

About the Project

The Countering Lone-Actor Terrorism (CLAT) project is co-funded by the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme of the European Union, and has been undertaken by a RUSI-led consortium. Partnering institutions include Chatham House, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) and Leiden University, one of the founding organisations of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) at The Hague.


Raffaello Pantucci

Senior Associate Fellow

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