Both Canada and the USA have had problems with lone wolf terrorist attacks, and some believe that these attacks are the result of mental illness. If this is the case then that means that identifying mental illness early on could prevent future lone wolf terrorist attacks. Outside of the Parliament in Canada a radicalized Muslim extremist murdered a Canadian soldier, in London an off duty military member was hacked to pieces by a man who was inspired by Al-Qaida, and in the USA the capital city of Texas was recently affected when a radical extremist attempted to set the Mexican Consulate on fire and shot at a number of buildings in the capital. Ideology was the motive behind every one of the attacks listed, and they were all carried out by one individual who was mentally ill.
If lone wolf terrorist attacks are the result of mental illness then this knowledge can provide new resources, strategies, and tools in order to detect mental illness sooner and prevent individuals from acting on their ideology and becoming radicalized extremists. According to Australia Victoria University sociologist Ramon Spaaij “It’s never an either-or in terms of ideology versus mental illness. It’s a dangerous cocktail.” Bernard Hogan-Howe, the police Chief of London, stated during a BBC interview that a lone wolf terrorist act “doesn’t take an awful lot of organizing. It doesn’t take too many people to conspire together. There’s no great complexity to it. So what that means is that we have a very short time to interdict, to actually intervene and make sure that these people don’t get away with it.”