This project aims to improve understanding of, and responses to, the phenomenon of lone actor terrorists in Europe.

Governments are increasingly concerned about the threat from politically-motivated, violent lone actors. Recent cases like Anders Breivik or the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston, and the fear of foreign fighters returning to their home country, highlight the threat of such ‘self-radicalized’ and ‘self-directed’ individuals. However, we still know relatively little about these individuals - who they are, how they were radicalized and how they gain the technical expertise to carry out attacks. To better understand and counter this threat, Chatham House is working to develop a comprehensive dataset, establish a community of experts, devise policy recommendations, and create tool kits for practitioners.

The project is supported by the European Commission and implemented by a consortium led by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), in cooperation with Chatham House, Leiden University, and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD). Key support is also provided by the Netherlands National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV), Polish Institute for International Affairs (PISM) and the UK Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).  

Related documents

Lone-Actor Terrorism: Analysis Paper
pdf | 581.06 KB
Policy Paper 1: Personal Characteristics of Lone-Actor Terrorists
pdf | 495.97 KB
Policy Paper 2: Attack Methodology and Logistics
pdf | 430.42 KB
Policy Paper 3: Motivations, Political Engagement and Online Activity
pdf | 704.64 KB
Policy Paper 4: ‘Leakage’ and Interaction with Authorities
pdf | 425.65 KB
Project Literature Review (RUSI)
pdf | 944.31 KB
Definitional Workshop Report (RUSI)
pdf | 731.45 KB
Database Workshop Report (RUSI)
pdf | 318.79 KB

More on Countering Lone Actor Terrorism