Is there a lone killer, that’s crazy (crazier than run of the mill crazy ideologues) and is he unaffiliated with a particular group or acting without sanction from a particular group?
He’s a crazy lone wolf killer.
Is he doing it in the name of his ideological group in order to strike terror into the target?
He’s a lone wolf terrorist.
Is he doing it in the name of his ideological group, with their sanction and assistance, or carrying out their stated plan of terror, even if acting as a lone wolf?
He’s a lone terrorist acting for the group.
Is there more than one killer, or a co-ordinated number of separate attacks, involving more than one killer, with support activists, and aid and sanction from the group?
They are terrorists …
Acting in the name of Islam? Islamic terrorists.
Acting in the name of Christianity? Christian terrorists.
Acting in the name of some other ideology? Terrorists for that ideology.
Craig Hicks (Chapel Hill):
Lone wolf crazy (allegedly) killer, who happens to be an atheist, but not doing it in the name of atheism, or if he is, then without any atheist doctrine to motivate him; he’s just plain crazy. Want more evidence? Try this.
Larry Dawson, a pastor from Tennessee:
Lone wolf crazy would-be killer, acting in the name of the Christian god, but with little modern excuse from Christian scripture. If it makes you more comfortable calling him a terrorists, go ahead, but he’s a crazy lone wolf would-be killer.
Red Army Faction:
Old school West German far left terrorists
Muslim attackers of Charlie Hebdo, Paris 2015, Brussels 2016, … (long list):
Explicit Islamic terrorists acting in a co-ordinated way, as a group or groups, sanctioned and aided by Islamic terrorist organisations.
FINDING JUSTIFICATION DIRECTLY IN ISLAMIC TEXTS
Is that clear enough for you?
If it helps to call them crazy, then knock yourself out. But all religious believers that use their scriptures to determine how they behave are crazy too, just not as dangerously so.
And it’s no great selling point for Islam, that it’s texts can so easily be used to radicalise the gullible and the mentally ill.
Now, can we drop the obfuscating nonsense that wants to distance Islamic terrorists from Islam at all costs. And, it’s not racism to call them Islamic terrorists.
Are US terrorists not being called terrorists when they should be? Then call them terrorists. This failure doesn’t suddenly make Islamic terrorists non-terrorists or non-Islamic.
Is this an over simplification? Sure it is. It’s a guide for idiots. Because the idiots that can’t get this won’t get anything more nuanced or complicated.
UPDATE 2017-06-16: Lone Wolf
The Myth of the “Lone Wolf” Terrorist, by Julie Lenarz
Terrorism v Hate Crimes – What’s the Difference
A lot of incidents where someone has verbally abused or even assaulted a Muslim have been called Hate Crimes. We sometimes hear people ask why they are not terrorist attacks. It’s usually pretty obvious why not.
Most ‘Islamophobia’ incidents have been mild compared to Islamist and Islamic terrorist incidents, so there’s been a false equivolence narrative where a hate crime of pulling of a hijab (definitely an assault) seems to have the same value as an actual terrorist act. That’s because there are very few terrorist acts against Muslims by Muslim hating western nationalists and racists, so there has to be some way of upping the victimhood.
I agree the line can be difficult to define. For example, when a British Muslim converted to Christianity and some of his Muslim neighbours beat the crap out of him and hospitalised him, has that gone over the line from hate crime to terrorism? If the stabbing of a cartoonist is terrorism, why not this? And when A British Sunni Muslim travels to Scotland to stab to death an Ahmadi Muslim, is that a hate crime or a terrorist act?
But I think shooting a number of people, or blowing them up, or mowing them down with a truck, are all terrorist acts. That’s sufficiently over the line to define it easily.
Of course the actual motive matters.
If the shooter simply hated some people in the mosque, for personal reasons, then does that have any ‘terror’ implications – are the general public at risk of similar attacks? I’d say not.
If the shooter has a history of hateful posting on social media or other evidence shows he has built up a hatred of Muslims and is making a statement in his act, then even if acting alone at the time he can become a role model for others – it was a terrorist act.