March 22, 2002

SAFE talk will go inside the mind of a terrorist

Have you ever wondered why terrorists do the things they do?

Law enforcement officials, particularly those involved in counterterrorism, have pondered that question for years. The challenge has been to analyze patterns that may be linked to terrorist behavior and then use that information to identify — and to ask the public to help identify — behavior that could lead to terrorist acts.

Very few people have studied the problem so extensively that they have figuratively managed to get inside the terrorist mind.
One such person is Kathleen Puckett, a psychologist and behavioral analyst. She will speak on "Inside the Terrorist Mind" at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 26, in the Bldg. 123 auditorium. LLNL and Sandia employees and contractors and DOE personnel are invited to attend. The talk is unclassified.

During a distinguished 23-year career as an FBI special agent, Puckett was frequently involved in the investigation and analysis of cases involving international terrorism.

Between 1994 and 1998, she was the primary behavioral expert during the UNABOMB investigation, and served on the U.S. Department of Justice psychiatric team during the prosecution of Theodore Kaczynski.

After completing a research internship in San Francisco at a state-licensed conditional release for mentally disordered offenders program, she finished her Ph.D. in clinical psychology in September 2000. During the following year, she conducted a multi-jurisdictional study of lone offender domestic terrorism for the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI. Subjects included Timothy McVeigh, Theodore Kaczynski and Eric Rudolph.

The program will be cablecast live on Lab TV Channel 2.