White supremacy has been the prime motivation of the lone wolf terrors in the United States that have spread over the last 75 years. Spike in these attacks has been witnessed after the US invasion of foreign lands following 9/11 attacks. The lone wolf attacks have mostly been perpetrated as a result of anti-government sentiments by jobless, socially isolated white males with a criminal record. This started with assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr in 1958 and civil rights champion Medgar Evers in 1963.
According to a report, more than 40 percent of solo actors were diagnosed with mental illness. A study by Gill found that lone attackers were 13.5 times more likely to have a mental illness than a member of an organization engaged in violence. Psychologists believe that organized groups screen out if any member had serious mental issues because the group has to work in a team. On the other hand, solo attackers do not need to cooperate and collaborate with any other.
The most favourite weapon of such assailants is guns, but they are not limited to this as different weapons have been employed in the history. Luther King Jr was killed with a pen-knife, anthrax was mailed to politicians and journalists in 2001 and a hatchet was used against four New York police officers in 2014. Earlier, explosives were preferred but later they have been replaced by high-velocity firearms.
After election of Barack Hussein Obama as president of the United States more than 10 security officials were murdered or wounded by solo attackers “motivated by anti-government and white supremacy anger over the election of the nation’s first African American president,” according to Hamm and Spaaij.
Since 9/11, US military personnel have also come under attack, while according to Hamm and Spaaij research no case of attack on military member had been reported prior to September 11 incident.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, which categorises mass shootings as four or more people shot or killed, there have been 251 so far this year in the country.
On August 4, 20 people were killed and 26 others injured in a mass shooting at a Walmart store in Texas. This incident took place less than 24 hours before another mass shooting in Ohio, which left nine dead and 27 wounded, and less than a week after a teenager killed three people at a California food festival.
The Texas shooting has made place in top 10 deadliest mass shootings in the US history. Local Hispanic community was allegedly the target of this attack. Probe agencies are investigating if a white supremacist “manifesto” was published by the same shooter on an online forum.
A US journalist CJ Werleman said, “The gunman’s alleged manifesto reads as a carbon copy of that espoused by those who carried out the recent and respective attacks on the mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.”