Act of Age: Minor Lone-Actor Terrorists and Their Attacks

Revital Sela-Shayovitz, Hava Dayan, Badi Hasisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Youth involvement in radicalization and terrorism activity has increased over the last decade. The present study aimed to determine whether minor lone-actor terrorists feature unique individual characteristics, and identify situational factors related to these attacks. A comparative analysis was conducted with 83 minors and 82 mature lone-actor terrorists in Israel who committed terrorist attacks between January 2015 and December 2016. Results indicated significant differences between underage and adult lone-actor terrorists in three of the four “pillars of opportunity” (target, training, and facilitating conditions), as well as in the death toll. These findings suggest close affinities between the socio-psychological needs and challenges youth face in their adolescence phase and their modus operandi for terror acts. We discussed these findings in the context of existing research on youth radicalism and lone-actor terrorism, offering further directions for research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)995-1019
Number of pages25
JournalCrime and Delinquency
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • individual characteristics
  • minor lone-actor terrorists
  • situational characteristics
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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