Professor Raymond Tanter appeared on the Michael Patrick Shiels Michigan Morning Show on Friday, 20 June 2012, to discuss a mass shooting in Colorado. Tanter provided his reaction to the “Batman” movie shooting on the syndicated radio and television show, along with representatives from the Michigan State Police; a psychiatrist; a criminal defense attorney; and a movie critic.
Because initial evidence suggests lack of international terrorist involvement in the Colorado shooting, it appears to be an illustration of homegrown “lone wolf” terrorism. On one hand, nonstate terrorism is often characterized as a weapon of the weak that sends a message of vulnerability to the strong. On the other hand, state-sponsored terrorism by rogue regimes like those in Damascus and Tehran, often target defenseless soft targets, such as dissidents, because lack of popular support for the regimes demands use of force to control their populations.
Unlike lone wolf-homegrown terrorists, a rogue state frequently has a longstanding relationship with a proxy, which makes their combined capability and intent to act much more lethal and may provide “plausible deniability” to the state sponsor. For example, in addition to operating via a proxy organization, Hezbollah, there is evidence the Iranian regime engages in terrorist activities on its own, using intelligence personnel and elite military units.