‘Lone wolf' attacks are much more likely to have an accomplice, think tank claims
ISLAMIC STATE attacks normally involve more than one attacker despite on the face of it appearing to be conducted by “lone wolves”, a think tank claims.
Analysis of ISIS attacks over 14 years found a mere 15 per cent were carried out by a solitary actor.
The remainder of the 145 attacks analysed had at least an accomplice, think tank the Henry Jackson Society found.
France was the target for the highest number of attacks or failed plots by the end of 2016 with 20, followed by the US with 16, Germany with 12 and Turkey with 10.
The UK was next with eight, with incidents such as the Leytonstone Tube attack counted among them.
They found 73 per cent of the attacks taking place between 2002-2016 had some connection to an ‘IS centre’.
Research fellow Kyle Orton said: "The Prime Minister has said of yesterday's terrorist incident outside Parliament that it is 'believed that this attacker acted alone'.
"A lone actor, however, is not necessarily a 'lone wolf'. The arrests in Birmingham this morning, for example, could signify a wider network of co-conspirators.
Incidents of wholly individual terrorism do occur, yet, as this report demonstrates, they are rare.
"The Islamic State is proving more capable of foreign attacks as its so-called caliphate shrinks, and the online infrastructure that the Islamic State uses to guide these attacks will survive long after its statelet is destroyed.”
Police conducted six raids across Birmingham and arrested eight people following the deadly attacks in London which left at least 40 people injured.
The death toll from Wednesday's deadly attack has risen to five after a 75-year-old man died from his injuries on Thursday.
Three other victims of 52-year-old Khalid Masood have been named, and PC Keith Palmer, a 48-year-old father and husband, has received widespread praise and recognition for his heroic actions.
Terror expert Will Geddes, chief executive of threat management firm International Corporate Protection, added that true lone wolf attacks are much harder to anticipate.
He said: “The hardest part with theses attacks is fundamentally they can be far more spontaneous.
"In terms of this particular individual, in terms of a lone wolf, or a stray dog as I prefer to call them, lone wolf gives to many connotations of what they actually are, which is cowards.
"But, fundamentally, when you have an individual hatching their plan in isolation, they're operating by themselves, it makes it a far harder job to intercept rather than a small cell or group of individuals who are coordinating an attack together using the internet and on other platforms.
"But when you have an individual using these websites but not necessarily interacting they are evidently a lot harder to pick up on."
Mr Geddes praised the work of the emergency services, saying they were "phenomenal".
He added: "I think the response was brilliant. Even in the very sad circumstances of the police officer suffering catastrophic injuries and dying, he did his job."