Meloy, J. & Genzman, J.-2016
The violence of the lone-actor terrorist cannot be predicted; however, in many cases, it can be prevented. In this article we have studied the behaviors and mindset of a loneactor terrorist, Malik Hasan (who happened to also be a mental health professional and a psychiatrist) through the lens of TRAP-18. Trained clinicians observed his behaviors for years, yet he continued on a pathway to targeted violence, culminating in the worst act of domestic terrorism in the United States since 9/11. Such acts are very low-frequency, but high-intensity events. They are understandable, and interdiction is possible. The fictional writer in the novel Mao II48 ruefully noted, “Years ago I used to think it was possible for a novelist to alter the inner life of the culture. Now bomb-makers and gunmen have taken that territory. They make raids on human consciousness.” Mental health clinicians are uniquely qualified and positioned to carefully observe such consciousness when it turns homicidally dark; they may therapeutically divert, and in some cases, operationally intervene with law enforcement to mitigate the risks of such mobilization for targeted violence.