The chairs of the House and Senate intelligence committees Sunday called single assailant – or "lone-wolf" - terrorist attacks a growing problem in the wake of separate attacks on police officers in New York and soldiers in two deadly incidents in Canada.
Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., the outgoing chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said lone-wolf attacks are a ‘huge’ problem that’s ‘getting worse.’
‘In Britain, they’re very close to being overwashed, meaning their resources can’t keep up with the individuals that have both gone to Syria and fought and have come back. There will be a point where they’ll have to do a priority list, meaning people they think are a danger they can’t keep up with,’ Rogers said on CBS’ ‘Face the Nation.’ ‘We’re not that far behind. Certainly, the Canadians are not far behind and Australia not far behind.’
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, concurred.
‘I think it’s one big problem,’ she said on CNN’s ‘State of the Union.’ ‘I think one of the problems is that the Internet as well as certain specific Muslim extremists are really firing up this lone-wolf phenomenon, and these attacks and the multiplicity of attacks in 2014 show that their propaganda is having some effect.’
New York police officials called Thursday’s attack on a group of officers by a hatchet-wielding man an act of terrorism and described the assailant as self-radicalized. One police officer was in critical condition with a head wound.
The assailant, identified as Zale Thompson, was shot and killed by the officers he was attempting to harm.
Thursday’s incident followed the shooting of a Canadian soldier at that country’s National War Memorial in Ottawa by a man who authorities said had converted to Islam. The gunman was shot to death after he ran into the Canadian capital’s Parliament building. On Tuesday, a Canadian soldier was fatally shot in Quebec by a different man whom law enforcement and government officials described as ‘radicalized.’