Assessing the Threat of Incel Violence

 

Over the last few years, a series of deadly incidents in North America, from the 2014 rampage carried out by Elliot Rodger in Santa Barbara to the 2018 van attack that killed ten people in Toronto, have been linked to incels (involuntary celibates). It has since become widely accepted that the rise in incel-inspired extremism, coupled with growing links with white supremacist ideologies, presents a growing challenge to law enforcement and counter-terrorism practitioners in North America and Europe.

On May 26, 2020, at 11:00 AM EST, the Program on Extremism hosted an online event examining the threat of violence perpetrated by incels.

The panel featured Bruce Hoffman, the Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security at the Council on Foreign Relations and a professor at Georgetown University's Security Studies Program; Renske van der Veer, Director of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) - The Hague; and Jacob Ware, Research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations. The panelists discussed the rise of violence witnessed by the violent fringes of the “involuntary celibate” (incel) community, noting the trends of lone perpetrator attacks, online radicalization, and release of manifestos explaining the acts of violence.