The lone (white) wolf, ‘terrorism’ and the suspect community
in Encountering extremism
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The ‘suspect community’ can be seen as the product of legal and security apparatuses – of a larger cultural ‘imaginary’ – rather than as an embodied community of Muslims, Irish etc. This re-conceptualised suspect community, created in the securitised imagination, is enacted in the security practices of counter-terrorism through processes of ‘othering’. The boundaries of this ‘community’ are permeable, shifting, and in the eye of the beholder. Based on this understanding of the ‘suspect community’, this paper asks why right-wing attacks and white right-wing extremists are rarely labelled as terrorists and why the salience of their violence has failed to produce a suspect community of white males; and why, in the light of this violence, the insecurity of the suspect community itself is not a security priority. The chapter concludes that ‘terrorism’ and the performance of counter-terrorism is rooted in the politics of colonialism and serves to subordinate particular ‘others’. In these ways, counter-terrorism deploys and reproduces a colonial world order both domestically and internationally.

Encountering extremism

Theoretical issues and local challenges

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