JCU professor profiled bin Laden for the CIA

12:00 AM, May 3, 2011   |    comments
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UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS -- Before most of America learned Osama bin Laden was dead last night, a psychology professor at John Carroll University got a call about the news.

"Now that he's dead, I don't anticipate terrorism is going to stop. In fact, it's going to increase," says Dr. Thomas Evans.

A former CIA profiler who specializes in the psychology of terrorism and violence, Dr. Evans has studied bin Laden for decades.

His reaction to a phone call Sunday that the al Qaeda leader was located and killed: "A happy surprise."

Evans has been with JCU for over 40 years and was asked to profile bin Laden for the CIA in the 1970s.

In modern times, Dr. Evans believes bin Laden had reached such iconic status among his followers that his elimination may weaken the movement -- to a degree.

"Once you weaken them enough so that they cannot sustain that belief system, they can't use Osama bin Laden as the banner and go and recruit new people. I think there's ways to cut them off," Evans said.

He also anticipates retaliation.

"[Radicals] are so dedicated to the cause, almost in a way that defies any degree of rationality," Dr. Evans said.

He thinks bin Laden's right hand man, Ayman al Zawahiri may become the next face of terror, and that al Qaeda remains America's biggest threat.

"I also think Zawahiri will try to mastermind some major kind of retaliatory effort," Dr. Evans said.

Yet Evans says, on May 1st, 2011, the United States of America made a statement that sets the tone for what happens next.

"I think we made a very strong statement to the countries that waffle their support. That we're tired of fooling around, we're tired of the diplomacy," he said. "We're tenacious, we're tough and now we're taking off the shackles you placed on us and we're going to actively pursue you."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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