Napolitano warns of increasing risk of lone wolf terrorists

Janet Napolitano, the director of U.S. Homeland Security, said on Friday that the risk of attackers with no ties to known extremist networks or grand conspiracies, known as lone wolf attackers, is on the rise.
Napolitano said in a Paris interview that these risks increase the need to keep dangerous travelers from reaching the United States. She urged European partners to finalize a deal on sharing passenger data that has found resistance over concerns of privacy, the Associated Press reports.
Napolitano recognized changes in the terror threat this year, but said the changes did not have much to do with the uprisings that have overturned the old order in several Arab countries, opening up new opportunities for extremist groups.
"From a U.S. perspective, over the last several years we have had more attacks emanating from AQAP (al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) than from core al Qaeda," Napolitano said, according to the AP. "There's been a lot of evolution over the past three years. The thing that's most noticeable to me is the growth of the lone wolf."
Napolitano named no examples, but it's a phenomenon that has increasingly become the focus of anti-terror operations internationally.
A former psychiatrist for the U.S. Army is the sole suspect in the 2009 deadly shootings at Fort Hood, Texas. A Kosovo Albanian acting alone fatally shot two American airmen in Frankfurt, Germany in March. A remote-control bomb exploded in a Marrakech cafe popular with tourists in April, killing 17 people, in an attack devised by a Moroccan who was inspired by al-Qaeda.
According to Napolitano, one threat that has remained constant is that of terrorists reaching U.S. soil. The agreement with the EU on sharing data on air passengers for flights from Europe to America is required to "make sure these global networks and global systems that we all rely on remain safe," Napolitano said, the AP reports.
The European Union and the United States initiated a new agreement on Nov. 17 after a previous agreement from 2007 had to be renegotiated due to changes in EU legislation. The accord must still be endorsed by the EU Council and the European Parliament, where a small group of legislators remains opposed.
Napolitano was in Paris for a meeting with counterparts from the G-6 countries of Spain, Poland, Italy, Germany, France and Britain.