Saturday, July 30, 2005

Live Suicide Bombers in Police Custody - a Goldmine

With the bombers in custody their worth to the Police and intelligence services is probably priceless. The interrogation will be interesting. The Times today suggests subtle techniques will be required to nail the suspects. Professor David Canter, the Director of the Centre for Investigative Psychology at the University of Liverpool writes:
...Now they (Police) have the much more difficult task of getting the bombers to talk. The information revealed could do more to help prevent similar atrocities than any amount of random searches or electronic screening.
...The investigation must therefore move into the much more subtle psychological process of question and coaxed answer. ...but there is little experience of getting failed suicide bombers to open up and reveal how they were lured into such drastic acts and by whom.

...if they do their job sensibly they will realise that they have two great advantages.
...First, they can learn a great deal about the bombers before they talk to them. They could know the lives of these men from birth, if the same effort is now put into preparing to interview as was put into finding the culprits. This will help the interviewers to bring the bombers into the reality of their situation and help them to see themselves as members of a community, not outcasts who must stay silent for ever.
...also, there is the curious fact that they cannot be charged with the ultimate crime of murder, but something lesser, such as intent to cause harm, so they have much to gain by helping the police.
...The main problem the police will now be facing is the onslaught of the world’s media and the desperate fear that more outrages will be perpetrated precisely because alleged bombers are in custody. But if interviewers succumb to these pressures they will sacrifice the opportunity these arrests now give them.
...Time will be the main tool they have in drawing out the bombers, allowing these men to come to terms with their circumstances, encouraging them to realise that rejoining the land of the living and offering an account of their grievances could do more for their cause than killing innocent bystanders.

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