December 26th, 2011
05:11 PM ET

Dictator puts U.S. in tough spot

By CNN Wire Staff

Embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh will be allowed to come to the United States for medical treatment in New York, a senior Obama administration official said Tuesday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, acknowledged a debate within the administration.

Officials do not want to come across as providing safe haven to a dictator responsible for a violent crackdown on an uprising that killed many protesters, the source said.

The decision was made in hopes that Saleh's departure from Yemen could ease tensions in the country and help pave the way toward elections next year, the official said.
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Filed under: Diplomacy • Security Clearance on TV • Yemen
Lone attacker or lone wolf?
December 26th, 2011
04:00 AM ET

Lone attacker or lone wolf?

By Raffaello Pantucci, Special to CNN

EDITOR'S NOTE: Raffaello Pantucci is an Associate Fellow at the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR), and the author of a recent report "A Typology of Lone Wolves: Preliminary Analysis of Lone Islamist Terrorists".

Recently the world saw two horrendous attacks on the streets of Europe. In Italy, Gianluca Casseri opened fire with a large handgun amid crowded tourist markets in central Florence. Two days later, Nordine Amrani opened fire with machine guns and grenades in central Liege, Belgium as citizens enjoyed a Christmas market.

Coming in the wake of Anders Behring Breivik’s massacre in Oslo earlier this year and numerous arrests in the US of individuals alleged to be planning solo terrorist attacks, this seems to be the year of the Lone Attacker.

But are these individuals terrorists or are they twisted individuals who are taking their vengeance on society for their own demented reasons?

The answer is a bit of both. Clearly, it takes a damaged mind to decide to kill at random. But such actions also instil terror in the civilian population affected. However, these acts on their own do not create a terrorist – that is normally defined as the use of violence against civilians to advance a political cause. An individual who is driven by personal demons to carry out an act of mass murder is different to someone who carries out such an act under the guise of a political ideology.

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Filed under: Living With Terror • Lone wolf • Terrorism