People light candles beside flowers laid in front of the Olympia shopping mall, where yesterday's shooting rampage started, in Munich, Germany July 23, 2016. REUTERS/ARND WIEGMANN
Recent attacks on civilians in the U.S. and Europe have exposed a gap in the intelligence community’s efforts to track suspected extremists and prevent mass killings, a half dozen American, British and French counterterrorism officials told Reuters.
The attacks have a common theme of being carried out by actors with an apparent history of mental illness - but few if any direct links to extremist groups, the officials told Reuters.
From both a legal and a strategic perspective, counterterrorism investigators globally are focused on plots by established violent groups with known ideologies, such as Islamic State. In the U.S., laws designed to protect citizens from intrusive government spying can limit investigations of individuals unless they have provable ties to foreign terror groups.
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WNU Editor: I have lost count on how many times I have heard family members say that they knew something was wrong ... but they never assumed that their loved one would go on a mass shooting spree. If family members cannot figure this out ....that their "loved one" wants to commit a horrendous crime .... the best run intelligence unit would not be able to find out either.