CCU terrorism expert thinks we can expect more incidents in the -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

CCU terrorism expert thinks we can expect more incidents in the U.S.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – As the Federal Bureau of Investigation continues to investigate the mass shooting in Orlando as an act of terrorism, a local professor is giving perspective on the situation.

Dr. Richard Kilroy is a professor at Coastal Carolina University. He has studied terrorism and is teaching a class on terrorism and political violence this summer. Dr. Kilroy says there is a tendency to take advantage of events like mass shootings during a political season. Candidates tend to rush towards judgment of a particular group or push policies. With that in mind, Dr. Kilroy says we need to be careful jumping to any conclusions too quickly.

"I think in this latest shooting I think right now we need to understand what was the motivation, what was the reason behind the shooting," Dr. Kilroy said. "I think President Obama was correct to call it an act of terror and an act or hate. We're still trying to understands the motivations behind this particular individual."

The professor said attacks in Paris and Brussels were clearly terrorism, because they were planned and organized by ISIS. But for this mass shooting in Orlando, he said we’re not seeing that direct tie just yet.

"I think we still need to look at this as a case of violent extremism by an individual,” said Dr. Kilroy. “But the possibility of ISIS inspired attacks to occur here in the United States, clearly we had that case with the shootings in Chattanooga. With the individual who attacked the military recruitment center and the navy reserve center. So I do think we can expect there will be more incidents like this in the United States."

The professor said when we see events like what happened in the Orlando nightclub, it is important to find out what kind of terrorism is involved – ethno-nationalist, religious, ideological, etc. In this case, Dr. Kilroy believes the gunman targeted a particular group of people based on sexual orientation, instead of religion or ethnicity or political ideology. But the motivation was for the gunman at the Pulse nightclub, Omar Mateen, is still under investigation.

Watch this video for more from Dr. Kilroy's interview:

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