Expert warns of lone wolf terrorists

In an editorial written on Wednesday, Jim Kouri wrote that as state-sponsored terrorist groups decline, privately sponsored groups with unknown new recruits present a terrorist threat.

Kouri, a board member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, said that these small groups may cooperate with one another in a loose fashion, which could challenge the ability of governments to identify specific threats, the Examiner reports.

In a report submitted to the National Association of Chiefs of Police, the FBI forecast that non-governmental and sub-national entities will increase their role in world affairs for years to come. As nation states and governments decrease control over resources, flow of information and people, the significant threat that may rise up in the next five years could be the lone actor or "lone wolf" terrorist who operates on the fringes of formal terrorist organization.

"Despite their ad hoc nature and generally limited resources, they can mount high-profile, extremely destructive attacks, and their operational planning is often difficult to detect," Kouri wrote, according to the Examiner. "An excellent example of this is the lone gunman — a Muslim — who entered a Jewish center in Seattle and killed one woman while wounding five others."

Kouri wrote that as the globalization of the economy occurs, the globalization and networking of criminal elements will also result. This will be especially effected by technological innovations which could create cheaper access to weapons technology.

"For example, it will be easier and cheaper for small groups or individuals to acquire designer chemical or biological warfare agents, and correspondingly more difficult for forensic experts to trace an agent to a specific country, company, or group," Kouri wrote, according to the Examiner.

Kouri wrote that meeting these threats requires a  more tightly integrated intelligence cycle with heightened receptors for threat changes and the ability to make immediate corrections in government priorities.