By Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Recent attacks on civilians in the U.S. and Europe have exposed a gap in the intelligence community’s efforts to track suspected extremists and prevent mass killings, a half dozen American, British and French counterterrorism officials told Reuters. The attacks have a common theme of being carried out by actors with an apparent history of mental illness - but few if any direct links to extremist groups, the officials told Reuters. From both a legal and a strategic perspective, counterterrorism investigators globally are focused on plots by established violent groups with known ideologies, such as Islamic State.
The teenager who shot dead nine people in a gun rampage in Munich was "obsessed" with mass killers like Norwegian rightwing fanatic Anders Behring Breivik and had no links to the Islamic State group, police said Saturday. Europe reacted in shock to the third attack on the continent in just over a week, after 18-year-old David Ali Sonboly went on a shooting spree at a shopping centre on Friday in what appears to have been a premeditated attack, before turning the gun on himself. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the teenager had likely hacked a girl's Facebook account and used it to lure victims to the McDonald's outlet where he began his rampage.