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Hunting the American Terrorist: The FBI's War on Homegrown Terror [Hardcover]

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Item description for Hunting the American Terrorist: The FBI's War on Homegrown Terror by Terry Turchie & Kathleen Puckett...

This book sets out the lessons we learned in seven years of hunting for American terrorists. This book is a guide for the future we almost certainly face: where extensive effort will be required to sort out the Lone Wolf from the international terrorist, to capture him before he retreats for years into his solitary lair. By demonstrating what we've learned about what drives the American terrorist, we hope to begin a discussion of the ominous possibility that the same psychological dynamics that have given rise to domestic American terrorists could eventually evolve into a hybrid international terrorist.

Publishers Description
The bombs were perfect. The metal he'd so painstakingly cast glimmered in the dim light of the cabin. The hickory wood on the flipper switch was smooth and well shaped. The chemical compound had been perfected, and the target selected. All that remained was to wrap them in heavy paper and add the addresses and the stamps. After a hiatus of over six years from his deadly mission, he was ready to remind them –all of them, all the unconscious drones in the technological nightmare the country had become –that he was still here, still dangerous, still watching them. And so worked the dark mind of the most elusive man in the history of the FBI. For sixteen years he stayed ahead of them. The old techniques in the Bureau just didn't work any more, at least for this kind of mind. It was time to change the rules and time to find the right type of people to change them. The book written by the people who changed the rules on the run takes you on the chase for the dark minds of Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber and Eric Rudolph. Dr. Puckett, the clinical psychologist who played such a vital role in the capture of those men also peers into the mind of Timothy McVeigh to provide an analysis to better understand the mindset of the domestic terrorist.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   294
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 6.25" Height: 9"
Weight:   1.4 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Sep 5, 2007
Publisher   History Publishing Company
ISBN  193390934X  
ISBN13  9781933909349  

Availability  0 units.

More About Terry Turchie & Kathleen Puckett

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Terry D. Turchie was the Unit Director whose leadership was the driving force behind the capture of Ted Kaczynski the Unabomber and Eric Rudolph, the Olympic Park Bomber. Prior to 9/11 he was in close pursuit of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan.Dr.Kathleen Puckett was an FBI Special Agent and a clinical psychologist who worked with Terry Turchie.

Terry Turchie currently resides in Berkeley.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Social Sciences > Criminology
2Books > Subjects > History > Military > General
3Books > Subjects > Law > Criminal Law > Law Enforcement
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Crime & Criminals > Criminology
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Current Events > Terrorism
6Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > General
7Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > True Stories > True Crime
8Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Law > Criminal Law > Law Enforcement

Reviews - What do customers think about Hunting the American Terrorist: The FBI's War on Homegrown Terror?

Reviewing: "Hunting The American Terrorist"  Sep 8, 2008

Written by Terry D. Turchie and Dr. Kathleen M. Puckett this book chronicles the hunt for several American terrorists. Unlike traditional terrorists who operate in cells and therefore by sheer numbers could make mistakes leading to their capture, the American terrorist proceeds as a "lone wolf." Folks like Theodore Kaczynski better known as the "Unabomber" and Eric Rudolph, the bomber of several abortion clinics and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics are two examples of this different kind of terrorist. While these individuals may share ideological beliefs with various organizations, they never fit in with those organizations primarily because of their personalities. As such, ostracized and alone, they carry a one person war against their targets.

Being one person as opposed to a group makes them harder to catch assuming they don't make mistakes. This means that psychological profiles are of huge importance and must change as the suspect and the case evolves. That is where the work of co-author Dr. Kathleen M. Puckett and others involved in profiling or behavioral sciences becomes so important.

While the Unabomber began in 1978, the person still wasn't caught when Terry D. Turchie took over the case in 1994. It had been a little over a year since the latest violent attacks and the task force was no closer to solving the case. The book chronicles the next seven years of the hunt as Mr. Turchie leads the task force. Seven years that were fraught with some success, bureaucratic power struggles, and inaccurate profiling until Special Agent and Behavioral Expert, Dr. Puckett was added to the task force among other issues. As the Unabomber Task Force evolves to hunt this new type of criminal, it makes waves inside the FBI and outside making the bureaucracy almost a bigger problem than the Unabomber.

While Mr. Turchie chronicles the bureaucratic side of things, in the second half of the book Special Agent Dr. Kathleen M. Puckett shares her thoughts from the behavioral analyst point of view. One of the things made clear is that the analysis must change as the events happen. The original profile offered by analysts at Quantico regarding the Unabomber was fundamentally wrong from the very start. Sixteen years later, the profile hadn't changed when Mr. Turchie took over the task force and that grossly incorrect profile had failed the case for years. Through her section, Dr. Puckett chronicles the case and how she looked at things differently than others did over the years.

Also covered in smaller pieces are the hunts for Eric Rudolph and Timonthy Mcveigh. Also covered and discussed is the study Dr. Puckett provided for the Counter Terrorism division, regarding the profile of the lone terrorist. A phenomenon that could create an international lone terrorist just as easily as an American lone terrorist. The implications of that are chilling.

This 294 page book including index provides an interesting look into some of the most notorious cases in American history. While there is a tone of self congratulatory praise running through the work, the book through text and photographs explains well how two high level insiders considered the cases and the events and people surrounding them. It is not a totally objective view of events nor is it intended to be as accounts by insiders are always biased towards the authors. The book recounts in interesting detail the author's perspectives on these cases and serves as an example of how such these types of investigations will most likely be conducted in the future when another one strikes.

Kevin R. Tipple (copyright) 2008
For anyone who would truly understand Terror.  Sep 4, 2008
The Terrorist is not something of strictly Arabic manufacture. "Hunting the American Terrorist: The FBI's War on Homegrown Terror" is a look at what many Americans don't know exists - those who would call themselves American citizens and do harm upon their own people. A look at these bizarre individuals and the acts they have visited upon us, such as Timothy McVeigh and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombings, it also gives the optimistic light on how these individuals are cracked down upon daily. A frightening and eye opening look at a subject not often talked about, "Hunting the American Terrorist" is a must for anyone who would truly understand Terror.
Riveting!  Nov 26, 2007
Hunting the American Terrorist: The FBI's War on Homegrown Terror

An amazing journey through a top FBI case. Can't wait until the next book by these authors comes out--HOMELAND INSECURITY!
An Important Primer for all Forensic Scientists and Students...and a Great Read  Aug 10, 2007
As a forensic psychiatrist, I believe this is an extremely important book, which works on many levels. First of all, it is the ultimate page-turner true life crime story, told by the ultimate insiders. Turchie and Puckett let their tale of hunting the Unabomber and other domestic terrorists unfold as they experienced it, allowing us a rare view of the politics and personalities that presented assistance and obstacles along the way. Told in a matter-of-fact voice, and absent the rigid and self-congratulatory tone that rightly diminishes lesser "insider" true crime books, the authors reveal their methods to us: pain-staking attention to detail, thinking outside the ultimate bureaucratic box, and, in the Unabomb case, the careful maintenance of an inquisitive and open mind in the face of FBI profilers unwilling to adapt to new evidence.

The first half of the book concentrates on the successful search for and arrest of Theodore Kaczynski, with a fascinating look at the relationship developed by Agent Puckett and Kaczynski's brother, which has evidently remained intact as David Kaczynski provides a back cover review. Puckett served as the Behavioral Analyst on the Unabomb task force, and provides unique insights into Kaczynski's personality, decision-making, and motives.

The second half of the book discusses Puckett's study of American Lone Wolf Domestic Terrorists. The reader learns the value and method of taking a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding these offenders, as Puckett takes us on an investigative "road trip," visiting law enforecment officers, forensic scientists, and mental health experts who worked on the cases. It is rare that these disciplines reach out to each other, but each could benefit from the others knowledge and expertise. Puckett's study is the template for this type of collaboration. This is the heart of the book, and is an invaluable manual for those who hunt terrorists, domestic and foreign.
Finally  Aug 6, 2007
As a retired FBI agent, I am finally impressed with a realistic presentation of a multiagency task force investigation. Hunting the American Terrorist captures the array of human emotions that motivate and complicate big cases. Readers will be able to enter the bull pen and proceed through the complex world of colorful personalities and bewildering puzzles that make up the daily successes and failures of an actual investigation. HAT should be required reading for anyone considering a career in law enforcement.

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