aNewDomain — White supremacists are not hiding. They declare their beliefs to everyone they know and on every social media outlet out there. But the FBI isn’t using predictive analysis to adequately profile the next shooter. Neither are the shooter’s parents.
The families of such suspects are, understandably, in denial. They can’t imagine their sons, brothers, and fathers as terrorists. It’s too close to home. But the FBI? That agency does not include terrorizing black communities as part of its war on terror. So it’s not even looking at white supremacist shooters.
This is true even though U.S. President Barack Obama has had to make 14 post-shooting speeches since his inauguration. Here’s the problem.
So what’s the FBI’s excuse?
Typically it’s the same one that is so frequently used by gun lobby folks. That the shooters are all “mental cases.” The idea is that white supremacist shooters, like the South Carolina shooting suspect Dylann Storm Roof, are lone-wolf types who do not understand the rules of the game. They are, according to that reasoning, unpredictable.
This is a cop-out. A greater understanding of lone-wolf terrorism is desperately needed because lone-wolf terrorism is the fastest-growing kind of terrorism. Once upon a time, Islamic Jihadists had this honor, and the FBI wasted no time coming up with a definition and, finally, a profile. You need both to do predictive analysis, which is what the FBI should be doing now with white supremacist terrorists, but isn’t.
The following is a description given for Islamic Jihadist:
Since 9/11, a gradual change has occurred. The real threat now comes from the single individual, the “lone wolf,” living next door, radicalized on the Internet, and plotting strikes in the dark. A lone wolf is an individual or a small group of individuals who use traditional terrorist tactics, including the targeting of civilians.
How predictive analytics connect the dots
Is it possible to find this lone gunman?
Absolutely. What works for identifying counter-terror in Jihadi cases will work for white supremacist terrorists, too. It’s already possible, of course, to do social network analysis to identify relationships pertinent to, for example, The Aryan Nation. It is possible to note, just using the Internet and semi-manual tools, violence and support for that group. Otherwise it will escape notice.
The FBI — and yes, the NSA — need to extend their data mining in this respect. Always quick to brag about their data mining capabilities, they just need to reform and reset their priorities.
These days, many more Americans are killed by lone wolf (non-Muslim) racist white men than by Jihadists. This has been true for a number of years.
Don’t believe counter-terror experts who say that identifying white supremacist terrorists isn’t really possible. These “experts” try to offset the responsibility to family, schools, and communities to find “radicalized” youth.
Just remember, though, that no one in his family felt that Roof, the suspect in the South Carolina shooting massacre, was any different from anyone else.
Then again, look at his license plate. The photo was posted on Roof’s Facebook account. Do you think the FBI would have found this image and acted accordingly if such a picture were online and identified a Jihadist through a known Jihadist terrorist organization?
Featured image: Screenshot via Dylan Roof’s Facebook
Body image: Screenshot by David Michaelis