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How Do You Stop a Lone Wolf Terrorist?

Hamas terrorist (Photo: Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The terror attack in Nice, and so many that have occurred recently around the world, have been the acts of "lone wolf" terrorists. Israel, of course, has come to experience these types of attacks on a regular basis. But, writes The Jerusalem Post's Yossi Melman, that does not mean they are easy to stop, as even the best and most vigilant intelligence cannot always stop someone inspired by terrorist organizations to act on their own:

...the truth is, even the best intelligence in the world can’t spot and foil “lone wolf” terror plans. Security services can plant agents inside terror cells, listen to militant preachers in mosques who try to radicalize young people, bug phone lines and break in into their computers. The Nice terrorist – of Tunisian origin – had no previous record, wasn’t on the radar of the French security service, and his only encounter with the law his beating of his wife. Security services can’t know what going inside the head of one person who one day decides to become a terrorist.

Israelis know this from experience, particularly in the last 10 months of a Palestinian wave of violence and terror, characterized by lone wolves with no organizational affiliation...

France already stated that it would increase its air operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. But it’s not enough. France and the West at large have to realize that they need to adopt measures which will affect their lifestyle and daily routine.

They need to improve the intelligence coverage not only of potential suspects and individuals but also the neighborhoods where they live. They have to recruit more Arab speaking analysts and experts with better knowledge and understanding of various dialects and of Islam and the Koran. They have to monitor mosques and radical preaches and if necessary to depose them of their jobs. New legislation with stricter laws has to be introduced. In free Western society, the pendulum in the range between democracy and security have until now has tilted in the direction of sanctioning democratic values of freedom of movement, free speech, and privacy. Now if the French authorities reach the conclusion that life is no more sacred than the values which accompany it, the balance needs to be adjusted so that the pendulum tilts in the direction of security at the expanse some values.

And still, even if all these measures and more are religiously adopted, no one can guarantee that terrorism on French soil and against French targets – and for the matter Europe – will be eradicated. Israel with its huge experience and innovative counter terrorism measures which are adopted worldwide can’t promise its citizens 100 percent success...

Tags: Terrorism

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