Recently, one of the worst acts of terror on American soil in the last decade was carried out at the Boston Marathon, when several Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were detonated in a crowd of onlookers.
Acts of violence carried out by an individual, pair or small independent cell, sometimes called small-scale terrorism, can be very difficult to combat. Typically, these attacks are stopped thanks to human intelligence gathered by informants or signal intelligence such as phone, text, email or social media. Small-scale terror attacks are often less sophisticated and could include homicide shooters, IED’s, homicide bombers, sniper attacks, infrastructure attacks, arson, etc. While they are certainly less dramatic than a 9/11 type event, they can be devastating because they are difficult to combat and relatively inexpensive to conduct.