Incel Terrorism Concerns Detailed in New 26-Page Case Study From Secret Service

The U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center's case study on "misogynistic extremism" was prompted by an investigation into a Florida-based attack.

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A new report from the federal government, released Tuesday, details the increasing concerns surrounding the threat of terrorism from men often referred to as “involuntary celibates,” i.e. incels.

Per CBS News, the report was spurred by an investigation into the red flag moments that preceded a fatal shooting at a Florida yoga studio in 2018. In that instance, the attacker—40-year-old Scott Paul Beierle—was found to have been “motivated to carry out violence” after having spent decades engaging in “inappropriate and criminal behavior” against women and girls.

The U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC)’s 26-page report, titled “A Case Study of Misogynistic Extremism,” highlights how Beierle’s history provides an illustration of many of the “behavioral threat assessment themes” that have been identified throughout studies on targeted violence.

Officials behind the study are notably calling for a united front approach to addressing misogynistic violence, writing that an appropriate response must be built on a collaborative relationship comprised of law enforcement, the court system, mental health providers, advocacy groups, and more.

In pursuit of this, the Secret Service case study outlines several threat assessment themes (derived from the Florida yoga studio attacker’s history) that are also often observed in similar acts of violence. 

Listed behaviors include interpersonal difficulties, homicidal ideations, harassment, a history of being bullied, lack of consequences, and more. Per NTAC’s findings, these pinpointed themes are not intended as so-called “predictors of violence.” Instead, per the study, they should be part of a larger evaluation that’s carried out with context in mind.

In comments to the Associated Press, Dr. Lina Alathari—who serves as NTAC chief—further explained the intention behind the case study, which can be viewed in full here. “Over and over again, we see a tolerance for these objectively concerning behaviors,” Dr. Alathari told the outlet. “The goal is to ID and assess behavior and to intervene. It is not about prosecution or criminalizing.”

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