The world today woke up to the horror of yet another terror attack on French soil. This time a lone man ploughed through the crowd gathered to celebrate Bastille Day, a French holiday, in Nice on Thursday. He crushed dozens under his massive grenade-laden truck, before opening fire on scrambling mob, leaving 80 dead and another 18 critically injured. The shooter was gunned down by the local police.
No terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but, the French president François Hollande, on Thursday, announced in a televised address to the nation that the agencies suspect Islamic States’ role in the attack.
Unfortunately, it is not the first time that a ‘lone wolf’ has carried out horrific violent incidents recently. On June 12, 2016, a 29-year-old American man, opened fire in a gay club killing 49 people and wounding 53 others. It was both the deadliest mass shooting by single shooter in US and most violent hate crime against LGBT community. The shooter, Omar Mateen, claimed to be answering call of duty by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, chief of Islamic State.
Only three days later, Larossi Abballa, 25, stabbed a police commander to death outside his home and killed his partner. He later posted a video of killings on Facebook from their home, crediting the murders to Islamic State. The incident was hailed as exemplary by the Islamic terrorist organisation.
Iraq-based Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi called all his disciples across the globe to kill infidels at home with their families". He encouraged believers in Islamic State to contribute their bit in the holy jihad by taking individual actions in their local regions and killing those who lead ‘sinful’ lives. Thus, creating a potential wave of ‘Lone Wolves’.
Islamic State has managed to find sympathisers amongst Muslims and non-Muslims, across the globe. In such a scenario, a call for individual action can prove to be dangerously uncontrollable for anti-terror organisations. Lone Wolf attacks are far less likely to require extensive planning, or interactions with other terrorists, which could be tracked or tapped for averting the incident.
It is time for world to prepare for a battle against not only the threat of terrorist intruders but also home grown lone wolf threats.