The chapter examines a number of terrorist plots in Europe in the period 2008–10, a period in which al-Qaida’s central organization was under pressure, whereas its regional branches were on the rise. This phase was also characterized by the proliferation of jihadism in social media, and, as the chapter argues, all of these factors contributed to the rise of single-actor terrorism as a preferred tactic among European jihadis. By 2008, the publication and re-publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad had become a major theme in al-Qaida propaganda encouraging attacks by individuals in the West. This further added to the threat of “lone wolf” acts of solo-terrorism, such as the French case of Mohammed Merah and the British case of Roshonara Choudhrys.
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