Terrorism and Homeland Security

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  • What is radicalization? What are the multiple roots to terrorism? Describe in detail the radicalization process.
  • What is lone wolf terrorism? Describe in detail the Stephen Paddock shooting in Las Vegas. Was he a terrorist or a mass murder? Read the included conclusion of a manuscript by Arntfield and Williams
  • Describe in full the Hawala System. Describe the links between drugs and terrorism, be specific. Summarize illegal and legal methods of terrorist funding.Describe networks and systems in informal economies.
  • Outline the tactical importance of female terrorists.
  • Read https://www.cfr.org/blog/terrorism-social-media-and-el-paso-tragedy and discuss in full. Show the link between the El Paso murders and internet.
  • Discuss the Sikh separatism in India. Describe political conditions in Nigeria and Somalia and how it can be linked to the rise and current status of Boko Haram. Use information from https://www.counterextremism.com/threat/boko-haram

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An Unlikely Retirement:

The 2017 Las Vegas

Massacre as an Exercise in

Project-Based Deviant Leisure

Michael Arntfield1, and D. J. Williams2

As a discursive category of offenders, mass murderers’ motivations may vary wildly;

however, they would all seem to center primarily around one or more common themes:

revenge, power, loyalty, terror, or profit (Fox & DeLateur, 2014). A family annihilation/

suicide motivated by loyalty would not seem to also qualify as an act of leisure; neither

would mass murder for profit, given that the motivation, money, or financial reward, is

primarily extrinsic. However, it is conceivable that mass homicides primarily motivated

by revenge, power, and to elicit terror, while carefully planned, highly anticipated,

and experienced as pleasurable and rewarding, are consistent with deviant

leisure, particularly project-based leisure and edgework. More research is warranted

into how different motivational themes of mass homicide may or may not relate to leisure and how the subjective difficulty level or challenge—whether real or perceived—

of these murders relates to flow theory.

According to Fox and DeLateur (2014), a pseudocommando offender, such as

Paddock, is likely to be motivated primarily by the exhibition of power. The fact that

Paddock apparently did not leave writings about his motives could be interpreted as an

attempt to exert unusual power and notoriety even for a mass murderer, in essence

forcing the public to guess at what he already knows, thus maintaining a degree of

power posthumously. However, given Paddock’s chronic serious leisure pursuits

around heavy gambling and purposeful selection of Las Vegas for a massacre site, it

appears that both power and revenge may be key themes underlying the careful planning,

preparation, and execution of the massacre as a one-time leisure project years in

the planning and centered, based on his existing gambling experiences, on flow and

edgework.

It appears that in Paddock a constellation of important developmental, psychological,

sociological, and leisure variables eventually crystallized into planning and carrying

out his ultimate retirement project. While Paddock was considerably older than the

majority of mass murderers, we also note that, demographically, America is starting to

gray. The future reflects a shift in that there is a significantly greater percentage of

older Americans, compared to previous generations. With this in mind, perhaps it

would not be surprising, then, to begin to see a greater number of older mass homicide

offenders in the future, simply reflective of changes in population demographics.

To conclude, our preliminary analysis here has focused on how a leisure science

approach complements traditional understandings of mass homicide, yet also yields

valuable new insights. Despite numerous limitations to our approach herein—including

still incomplete information and retrospective analysis—we hope that a theoretical

exploration of the Las Vegas massacre might prove useful in illustrating how deviant

leisure and edgework, directly and peripherally, often may go unnoticed, yet play a

significant role, in understanding how fantasies of pseudocommando mass homicide

offenders are developed, planned, and ultimately operationalized.

Homicide Studies

1–12

© 2018 SAGE Publications

Reprints and permissions:

sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav

DOI: 10.1177/1088767918786765

journals.sagepub.com/home/hsx

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