Chasing Ghosts: Offender profiling and terrorism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Despite the many misgivings, ultimately profiling will continue to be used in terrorist cases. While there is much to be cautious about, there are also reasons to express at least a little optimism. Profiling in general is still in its infancy and the profiling of terrorists is hugely underexplored. The initial cases have not been inspiring from an investigative point of view, but they have shown that terrorist profiles can be accurate and that they can have an impact. As the literature develops on this aspect of profiling, better guidelines will inevitably emerge. For now, all that can be reliably said is that a potential exists, but as with the rest of profiling, it is far from clear if this can ever be fully realised.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSex and Violence
Subtitle of host publicationThe Psychology of Crime and Risk Assessment
EditorsDavid Farrington, Clive Hollin, Mary McMurran
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherHarwood Academic Publishers
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9789058231178
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • offender profiling
  • psychological profiling
  • terrorism
  • terrorists
  • political violence
  • investigation

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