NATO Lone Wolf Conference

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Senior Law and Policy Analyst Michael Vesely traveled to Jerusalem, Israel, to present at a NATO conference focused on issues related to lone wolf terrorism from November 1-7, 2014. The event was hosted by TAM-C Solutions. The conference brought together various subject matter experts from Europe, the Middle East, and the U.S., in order to bring a multinational, multidisciplinary view to the threat that lone wolves pose to the contemporary world. Lone wolf terrorists present unique challenges, in part because these actors are harder to detect and intercept than terrorist organizations; moreover, these individuals’ actions are not moderated by a group and in some instances they can be willing to take larger risks and inflict more damage than terrorist organizations.

The conference presentations were aimed at addressing the scope, breadth, and diversity of issues that lone wolf terrorists raise. Mr. Vesely gave two presentations regarding developments in the U.S. legal system as they pertain to lone wolf terrorism. His presentations addressed legislation that has been passed specifically to provide law enforcement and intelligence agencies with the necessary tools to combat the threat. He also addressed how courts have applied these new statutes, as well as established criminal laws, to prosecute and sentence lone actor terrorists.

In addition to the lectures given by the various subject matter experts, the conference also provided interactive sessions. These components included a tabletop exercise where conference presenters were placed into groups and then worked through various scenarios involving potential lone wolf attacks. After this exercise, all of the presenters participated in the creation of a series of recommendations that NATO could implement to combat lone wolf terrorists now and in the future. The final conference activity was a guided tour of various sites of lone wolf terrorism that had transpired in Israel and included a discussion of some of the security measures that were implemented as a result of these incidents. Sites included: downtown Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and many others.

A compilation report containing a section authored by each subject matter expert is forthcoming in 2015.

This text is taken from the CHHS Spring 2015 Newsletter

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