The Sydney siege seems to be the latest in a series of attacks this year by jihadists responding to call for “lone wolf” attackers to strike back at the West
By Malcom Moore, video by Keely Lockhart
8:05PM GMT 15 Dec 2014
An increasing number of "lone wolf" terrorists are responding to the West battle against the Islamic State by launching attacks at home.
This year there have been a series of attacks in Ottawa, Brussels and New York by Islamists responding to calls from the Islamic State to kill non-believers wherever they can.
“We have been seeing more and more lone attackers as a trend and Isil has pushed the idea even further and it seems to be resonating more intensely,” said Raffaello Pantucci, a counter terrorism expert at the Royal United Services Institute.
In Australia, police foiled a plot in September after intercepting a phone call from an Isil leader instructing followers to randomly behead a non-Muslim in Martin Place, the scene of yesterday’s siege, and capture it on camera.
“There is no doubt that many of these guys had notions of being under siege as Muslims. Some have not had the wherewithal to make it to the battlefield. They think they are being watched and that if they try to make it to a plane they will be put in jail so they do something locally,” said Thomas Sanderson, a counter terrorism expert at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.