Joseph T. McCann is a licensed psychologist and attorney in Binghamton, New York with many years of clinical and forensic experience in a variety of consulting and professional roles.He is a clinical psychologist at United Health Services Hospitals, a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at SUNY Upstate Medical University, and a member of the adjunct faculty at Binghamton University (SUNY), where he teaches a course on the psychological and legal aspects of terrorism.He maintains an active program of research, teaching, and writing on terrorism and forensic psychology.
Written and narrated by Joseph T. McCann
"Terrorism on American Soil" by Joseph McCann :: OFF THE PAGE on WSKG Radio
Dr. McCann writes that "9/11 and the anthrax letters together mark both an end to the era of what-if scenarios in counterterrorism and the beginning of an era in which a new form of terrorism - one where the risk of catastrophic destruction and the use of weapons of mass destruction - has found its way onto American soil."Although there is not yet an agreed international definition of "terrorism" (a problem that many feel hinders effective response to the threat), the McCann book takes the broad view.It can be an attack on a prominent person, random violence that endangers everyone nearby or even "a form of theater" to advance a cause or make a point.The issues that motivated anarchists a century ago may still be at work in terrorists today, and challenges remain to our system of justice.Despite the acknowledged dangers in today's terrorist acts, McCann tends to be optimistic about the future.His study of the history of "plots and perpetrators" reveals how the American people have come through periods of fear and danger and experience "a profound capacity to respond well in the aftermath of terrorist attacks" and continue with their lives.Joseph McCann is both a lawyer and a clinical and forensic psychologist.He is also a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the SUNY Upstate Medical Center and an adjunct assistant professor in the Psychology Department of Binghamton University, where he teaches a course entitled Psychology, Terrorism and Law.McCann has also been a consultant on terrorist matters to several law enforcement agencies."Terrorism on American Soil" is his eighth book.
SENTIENT PUBLICATIONS: Reviews - Terrorism on American Soil
Terrorism has plagued the United States throughout its history, though some seem to believe it began with the Oklahoma City bombing and the Sept. 11 attacks.
A new book by a Binghamton University adjunct faculty member argues that studying the history of terrorism in this country can lead to an understanding of the changing nature of the problem, methods for coping with the threat and the psychological, political and legal principles involved.
Joseph T. McCann's Terrorism on American Soil, published this fall by Sentient Publications, features more than three dozen case studies of attacks in the United States, dating from Abraham Lincoln's assassination in 1865.
"There have been many terrorist attacks throughout our history, by many different individuals and for different reasons, some of which overlap," McCann said.
"Certain trends in terrorism repeat themselves.
Some of the issues that were present a hundred years ago with anarchists are the same issues we're struggling with today."
McCann, 47, a clinical psychologist at Binghamton General Hospital who also holds a law degree, is an adjunct assistant professor in the Psychology Department.He teaches an undergraduate seminar each fall titled Psychology, Terrorism and Law.
"I want to give students a broad introduction to the topic," he said.
After the Sept. 11 attacks, McCann did a lot of reading, especially about the difficulties in identifying risks and concerns over profiling.
He found many of the issues corresponded to his previous work.
"You don't find the science of psychology applied to terrorism too often because terrorism is so hard to research and study," he said.
"I found that some of the most useful and interesting reading I did was in history."
McCann, who was working with a colleague on a book titled Minds on Trial about famous cases in law and psychology, decided he'd try a similar case study approach to terrorism.
"My main purpose was to educate the general public the way that I was educating myself about terrorism," he said.
"I'm very concerned, and I think the threat is certainly very great," McCann said.
"But I'm also optimistic.
Joseph T. McCann, PsyD, JD, is a Clinical Psychologist at United Health Services Hospitals and Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at SUNY Upstate medial University.He is licensed both as a psychologist and attorney and has extensive experience with legal issues in mental health and the assessment of violent and threatening behavior.He maintains an active program of research, teaching, and service in psychological evaluation and diagnosis, forensic psychology, and terrorism.Among his numerous publications are the recently-released book Minds on Trial: Great Cases in
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