A radical Muslim killed a soldier outside Canada’s Parliament. A right-wing extremist opened fire on buildings in Texas’ capital and tried to burn down the Mexican Consulate. An Al-Qaida-inspired assailant hacked an off-duty soldier to death in London.
Police said all three were terrorists and motivated by ideology. Authorities and family members said they may have been mentally ill. A growing body of research suggests they might well have been both.
New studies have challenged several decades of thinking that psychological problems are only a minor factor in the making of terrorists. The research has instead found a significant link between mental problems and “lone wolf” terrorism.
Now academics and law enforcement officials are working to turn that research into tools to prevent deadly attacks.