Following the 2017 Manchester Arena terrorist attacks, all could agree that measures to prevent acts of terrorism needed to evolve. Indeed, context had changed, with social media platforms broadly disseminating terrorist propaganda. The rise of “DIY” terrorism, in particular, wasn’t always reflected in counterterrorism measures.
The increasing popularity of DIY terrorist techniques – whereby “lone wolves” use any means at their disposal, from crudely crafted explosives, cars, knives, etc. to target crowded and/or open spaces – served also to expose a critical security vulnerability.
How so? Rather than being able to track multiple actors building complex explosives and coordinating across multiple cells and targets, DIY terrorism seemingly target crowded and/or open spaces at random.
The spaces themselves aren’t targeted by happenstance. Crowded places abound. The U.K., specifically, counts 650,000 such spaces, according to the advocacy group Survivors against terrorism. On the other hand, the percentage of spaces that receive direct support from state counter-terrorism networks is less than one percent.
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