THE TIPPING POINT OF TERROR:
Kuster, Robert Emile
THE TIPPING POINT OF TERROR:MOTIVATIONS OF THE AMERICAN LONE WOLFRobert E. Kuster II, B.A.Advisor: Douglas M. McCabe, Ph.DABSTRACTIn a post-9/11 environment, the United States (U.S.) faces a very different security environment than previously held by our nation. National security has been brought to the doorstep of every American. From the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security to the increase in vigilance carried out daily at our airports, American citizens are today leading a very different life - a different security culture - than held previously. Wars and combative conflict were something carried out on foreign soil, and at a safe distance from U.S. borders.There appears to be a global and united focus on protecting respective nations from terrorist action. But there are many challenges even with this additional security structure meant to protect the U.S. lifestyle and homeland from terrorists. Amidst all these security challenges, the U.S. battles the threat of "homegrown" terrorists.From the outside, these terrorists appear to share our country, our rights, and our belief in the American dream. But because these individuals currently reside in America under U.S. citizenship or other means, they appear to pose an even greater threat than the terrorists living outside our nation's borders.Within the profile of domestic terrorists, these security and law enforcement agencies profile a unique terrorist referred to as a "Lone Wolf". These individuals operate alone and outside of a command structure and their activities are increasing in numbers. Lone Wolf terrorists in America have been documented through the years. The term has historically referenced U.S. citizens acting out against American politics and social environments. However, the designation of Lone Wolf has developed into an international nomenclature.As these new security threats arise, so does the study and analysis of them. National and international security studies attempt to break down the activities of terror organizations into discreet actions and to identify within these actions what steps could be taken to prevent them. Part of this theoretical discussion is a dialogue on mass communication and diffusion theory - how information is spread and how (and why) behavior is adopted. This thesis evaluates the potential correlation between Malcolm Gladwell's diffusion theory as presented in his book, The Tipping Point, and the motivations and influences that result in Lone Wolf terrorist behavior.
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