Omar Mateen: Lone Wolf

I’ve been puzzling over his motivations since the massacre, and suddenly realized something today: he’s the lone wolf that security agencies have been warning us about for a while.

He clearly had a mixed-up history and “broke bad” at some point.  But he didn’t really have a way to give shape to his badness until, really until ISIS burst on the scene.

Watching the other massacres, he realized he could affiliate himself with ISIS — no need for a pesky trip to Syria or even much contact with them — and then carry out an attack.

He did impinge on the FBI and other radars several times, but, because there was nothing further to his plotting — no connections, no ties, no infrastructure — there was no way to escalate our interest in him, no way to pick him out from millions of mixed-up bad-breaking people who might look to ISIS for some kind of justification for their bad feeling.

I sympathize with our security guys: lone wolves are probably the “long tail” of their job, and very very hard to know how to triage the severity of the threat posed by a lone wolf.

But that’s what it looks like he was.  An ISIS wannabe.

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