Not all terrorist attacks result in significant loss of life and not all mass murder events are terrorist attacks. Throughout 2016 we have seen a number of individuals, without extensive connection or training by identified terrorist groups, commit violent and physical attacks on defenceless civilians, often resulting in significant loss of life. These acts of mass murder, whilst immediately categorised by the media as terrorist attacks, are more often the result of one person’s actions.
You can terrorise a community or local populace by killing and injuring a significant number of people….but that doesn’t make it a “terrorist attack”.
The offenders intentions may not be politically motivated, merely to draw attention to themselves, their plight or exact a sense of revenge for their own sufferance. Either way, lives are lost and people are terrorised.
Police, military, government agencies and intelligence resources are geared towards detecting, identifying and responding to groups seeking to commit crimes or inflict physical violence upon local communities. Due to the size of the group, their actions, the ability to predict trends and various other factors, terrorist groups are “easier” to pursue and contain then random, individual people willing to commit mass murder. Individuals may also not require planning or lead up time to commit the act, rather taken up by the emotion and opportunity, they kill quickly and go undetected. Therefore, it is the reason so many of these random individuals have been so successful of late and apparently go undetected by the extensive resources available that are focused on terrorism groups and activity.
Mass murderers are not detected using the same means as terrorism as they are not the same threat source in terms of detection, identification and prevention.
Don’t assume a mass murder event is a terrorist attack. Be aware that public, mass murder events are possibly nearly everywhere…especially popular public locations and tourist attractions.