Top police officials from New York, London and elsewhere met Thursday to share strategies for combating the homegrown terror threat posed by self-radicalized people who are difficult to thwart because they keep to themselves.
The conference included NYPD Commissioner William Bratton, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police Service. The officials said that they share a concern over the influence of a sophisticated social media outreach campaign by al-Qaida, the Islamic State group and others geared in part toward inciting shootings and other violence by troubled individuals — sometimes referred to as “lone wolves” — without any of the direct indoctrination seen in more ambitious plots. They cited the recent fatal shooting of a Canadian soldier in Ottawa and the attack on NYPD patrolmen by a hatchet-wielding man as examples of the phenomenon.
“We’ve discussed how we have a common problem, a common enemy, and how we need to act against that,” Hogan-Howe said. “Things are changing in different parts of the Middle East, and these are things that actually materialize on the streets of our countries. We have to work together to deal with that.”
Bratton said the NYPD is investing more time and resources in monitoring Islamist websites and social media and is looking for ways to identify people who may be falling under their anti-Western spell.