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Frank R. James Behavioral Analysis and Rockets Fired Into Southern Israel

April 14 - 20, 2022 | Issue 4 - Behavior/Leadership Team

Zoe Beyer, Katie Lohret, Jacqueline Schluger, Sofia Stanga, Sara Buccino, B/L Team

Shooting attack in Tel Aviv[1]

Date: April 15, 2022

Location: Brooklyn, New York City, USA

Parties involved: Frank R. James; New York City Police; New York City civilians

The event: After he called police on himself, Frank R. James was identified as the terrorist who shot ten people aboard a Brooklyn subway train on April 12.[2] James posted videos on his YouTube channel up until the day before the shooting discussing various violent topics, like his desire for more mass shootings.[3] Many of his videos expressed misogynistic, racist, and bigotest language, like his support of racial segregation and using white supremacist phrases.[4] In the videos, he disclosed having post-traumatic stress disorder and violent thoughts, saying that he wanted to watch people die in front of him but he did not want to go to prison, documenting a decline in his mental health. He also discussed having mental health crisis episodes in the past few decades.[5]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Frank R. James’ behavioral issues very likely worsened when his father died and he lost his job, as he very likely experienced frustration and grief that likely led to anger issues. His irascible attitude likely led him to threaten and behave aggressively towards people around him. The persistence of James’ aggressive and threatening behaviors over time shows that he very unlikely underwent mental health treatment, as he never developed the ability to control his reactions.

  • James’ fear of prison very likely did not stop him from committing the shooting due to a lack of impulse control stemming from his worsening mental condition. James likely experienced an increased number of violent thoughts, like fantasies about watching people die, as he became more unstable. James very likely committed the shooting to play out his violent fantasy with real people as he was no longer fearful of going to prison.

  • James’ lack of social skills likely led to him feeling like an outsider and behaving aggressively with his environment. Feelings of inadequacy and social difficulties relating to his environment very likely led him to post Youtube videos, likely seeking attention from society and desire to connect with more people. James’ Youtube videos and turning himself in to the police likely indicate he sought public recognition from the shooting, likely to feel important to combat his loneliness and social isolation feelings.

Date: April 16, 2022

Location: Jerusalem, Israel

Parties involved: Israel; Israeli government; Israeli police; Israeli Iron Dome; Palestinian Authority (PA); Palestinians; Palestinian demonstrators; Anti-Israeli protesters; Hamas

The event: On Monday, April 18, the Israeli Iron Dome, a mobile all-weather air defense system, intercepted rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into Southern Israel. Hamas has not claimed responsibility for firing the rockets, but the Israeli government is holding them accountable. This is the first rocket attack after increased conflict since the Israel-Hamas conflict in May 2021.[6] Israeli airstrikes hit several targets in the Gaza Strip overnight in response to the rockets fired in Southern Israel, as tensions have been rising in the area between Israelis and Palestinians during a period of convergence of Ramadan and Passover.[7]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The increased frequency of Iron Dome interceptions in southern Israel almost certainly has the potential to escalate the conflict between Israel and Hamas, similar to May 2021 . Hamas very likely fired rockets to warn the Israeli government to cease monitoring and action in contested sites. The Israeli government likely wants to avoid further escalation as it would very likely negatively affect their public image. Small-scale terror attacks like shootings, stabbings, and rock-throwing targeting Israeli police and civilians will almost certainly continue amidst rising tensions..

  • Hamas and other Palestinian nationalist groups will almost certainly publish materials emphasizing Israel’s presence at Al-Aqsa, likely making religeous celebrations a flashpoint for future violence and increasing tensions. Palestinians will likely respond with increasingly violent demonstrations, likely resulting in continued Israeli monitoring of religious sites.


The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)

[2] Suspect in Brooklyn subway attack in custody and faces federal terrorism charge, The Washington Post, April 2022,

[3] Suspect in Brooklyn subway shooting posted videos discussing violence and mass shootings, CNN, April 2022,

[4] ‘they hate jew’: NYC Subway Shooting Suspect Frank James Left Online Trail of Incitement and Bigotry, The Algemeiner, April 2022,

[5] Suspect in Brooklyn subway shooting posted videos discussing violence and mass shootings, CNN, April 2022,

[6] Palestinians clash with Israeli police at Jerusalem holy site, 152 injured, Reuters, April 2022,

[7] Israel downs Gaza rocket, admonishes Jordan as Jerusalem tensions simmer, Reuters, April 2022



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