Reuters reports: If Omar Mateen acted alone in plotting the massacre of 49 people at Orlando’s Pulse gay nightclub, he would be the exception rather than the rule in U.S. cases involving suspected Islamic State supporters.
Sunday’s worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history prompted renewed warnings from officials of “lone wolf” attackers, a term that commonly invokes images of isolated individuals, radicalized online by violent propaganda and plotting alone.
But a Reuters review of the approximately 90 Islamic State court cases brought by the Department of Justice since 2014 found that three-quarters of those charged were alleged to be part of a group of anywhere from two to more than 10 co-conspirators who met in person to discuss their plans.
Even in those cases that did not involve in-person meetings, defendants were almost always in contact with other sympathizers, whether via text message, email or networking websites, according to court documents. Fewer than 10 cases involved someone accused of acting entirely alone. [Continue reading…]