Individuals acting on their own

Incidents during the past few years have emphasised a trend which we have noticed for quite some time, namely that individuals acting alone may pose a threat to national security and to our democratic system.

These persons, however, do not constitute a homogeneous category, which makes it difficult to draw any general conclusions as to their intentions, modus and targets. Fixated persons typically threaten or harass representatives of central government (especially those who frequently appear in media) without being driven by any political or ideological motives. These individuals may have some form of psychological problem, such as a mental illness, or some type of addiction (alcohol or drugs) causing their irrational behaviour.

Two driving forces are particular common among fixated persons, the first of which concerns finding someone to blame and to seek revenge for a perceived insult (this often refers to an official decision that has had a negative impact on them). The second driving force applies to those who imagine that they have a personal (often amorous) relation to someone whom our Service is tasked with protecting. Both types of driving forces result in numerous attempts to make contact, both indirectly (via letters, gifts, etc.) and directly, in person. Even though these attempts are often systematic and long-term, their intensity may vary.

Clearly, there is a wide range of individuals acting on their own, from the genuine loner with very little contact with others, to someone having been given a mission to single-handedly carry out an act of violence, quite irrespective of the motive.