‘Happens too often’: Massive attacks are detailed in the report


WASHINGTON (AP) — As the country recovers from a week of high-profile shootings, a new report on mass attacks urges communities to intervene early when they see warning signs of violence, urges businesses to consider workplace violence prevention plans and highlights the link between domestic violence , misogyny and mass attacks.

The report, released on Wednesday by the US Secret Service’s National Threat Center, analyzed 173 mass attacks carried out over a five-year period from January 2016 to December 2020 in public or semi-public places such as businesses, schools or churches.

It was released as the US experienced a particularly deadly start to the new year, with 39 people killed in six massacres, including one this week in Monterey Park, California, when 11 people died in a dance hall as they cheered for Lunar New Year .

“This happens too often,” said Lina Alatari, director of the center, during a press conference ahead of the report’s release. Alatari said that while the center did not specifically look into the shootings that took place this week, themes emerge when analyzing “over and over again” mass attacks.

The report is the latest in a series undertaken by the center to look into the problem of mass attacks. While previous reports looked at specific years 2017, 2018, and 2019, the new report notes that it has analyzed data from several years and provides a “deeper analysis of the mindset and behavior of mass attackers.”

The Center defines a mass assault as an attack in which three or more people are injured, not counting the attacker. Almost all of the attacks were perpetrated by one person, 96% of the attackers were male, and the age of the attackers ranged from 14 to 87 years.

The report noted that nearly two-thirds of the attackers exhibited behaviors or messages “that were so disturbing that they should have been responded to immediately.” It says these concerns were often reported to law enforcement, employers, school staff, or parents. in one-fifth of the cases, the disturbing behavior was not reported to anyone “in a position to respond, demonstrating an ongoing need to promote and facilitate witness reports”.

The report also called for more attention to domestic violence and misogyny, noting that nearly half of the attackers studied had a history of domestic violence, misogynistic behavior, or both.

“While not everyone who holds misogynistic views is prone to violence, views that describe women as enemies or call for violence against women continue to be of concern,” the report says.

About half of the attacks in the study were related to the location of the business, and the attackers often had a prior relationship with the business as an employee, client, or former employer. The report also noted the role grievances such as workplace disputes or feuds with neighbors played in the mass attacks. According to the report, about half of the attacks were motivated “in whole or in part by perceived resentment.”

“Workplaces should implement behavioral threat assessment programs as a component of their plans to prevent workplace violence, and businesses should also establish a proactive relationship with local law enforcement so that they can jointly respond to incidents of violence, regardless of whether it arises. whether this concern is due to a current employee, a former employee or a client,” the report says.

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