Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Criminal Justice, Legal Studies, and Homeland Security (D.P.S.)


Division of Criminal Justice and Homeland Security

First Advisor

Marina Sorochinski

Second Advisor

Keith Cozine

Third Advisor

Chris Cleary


The modern notion of a socially isolated lone-wolf terrorist and public mass- murderer is challenged by analyzing those individuals’ pre-attack behaviors. Many of these behaviors can be explained with theories such as Social Identity, Social Network, and Social Movement Theory, which examine the changes in human behavior to understand motivations. Properly classifying certain behaviors in a radicalized individual could help identify potential risk factors indicating an impending attack, prompting better responses, and solutions to strategize tactics and policies in preventing terrorism. Using existing literature and theory as the basis, this dissertation will examine common broadcasting behaviors of individuals who have perpetrated or attempted to perpetrate physical acts of terrorism to identify pre-attack warning actions, thus classifying them into distinct sects. This quantitative study uses data collected through a previous study which used open-source text materials from a sample of 186 case studies of United States based lone-wolf terrorists and mass-murderers between 1990-2013. The results show a clear division in broadcasting behaviors between classified types of offenders. These research findings are expected to contribute to the larger body of literature rejecting the moniker of an isolated lone-actor and mass-murderer to one that broadcasts their collective convictions to a larger group. Practical implications on how to better inform and prepare intelligence agencies, law enforcement, and the public in assessing vulnerable individuals and implementing preventative practices will be discussed.

Included in

Criminology Commons