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Thursday, April 26 • 15:00 - 15:45
Questioning the "Loneliness" of Lone-Wolves: A Social Network Analysis of the Ideological, Signaling, and Support Networks of Lone-Wolf Terrorists

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In this presentation, Dr. Hofmann will discuss his recently completed funded research (TSAS / Public Safety Canada) into the three different types of social networks formed by lone-wolves during the 24 months prior to the commission of their first act of terrorist violence. Dr. Hofmann and his research team gathered relational data to reconstruct the ideological, signaling, and support networks of two prominent lone-wolf terrorists (Timothy McVeigh and Michael Zehaf-Bibeau) in order to explore the extent to which lone-wolves may be influenced and supported by their larger social environments, and how lone-wolves communicate their intent to plan and commit acts of terrorist violence. This study is the first in the known literature to use social network analysis to better understand the relational dynamics of lone-wolf terrorists, and adds to the growing consensus among terrorism scholars that lone-wolves do not radicalize towards violence and plan their attacks in socio-political vacuums. After discussing the methodology and findings of the study, this presentation will conclude with some preliminary policy suggestions, and how future research of a similar nature can contribute to understanding important behavioural and social aspects of lone-wolf terrorism.

avatar for Dr. David Hofmann

Dr. David Hofmann

Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of New Brunswick
Dr. David Hofmann is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of New Brunswick, a Research Fellow with the Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society, and a Senior Research Affiliate with the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security, and Society (TSAS... Read More →

Thursday April 26, 2018 15:00 - 15:45 ADT
Track 5 - Room 201