Criminal profiler explains mind of a terrorist - CBS46 News

Criminal profiler explains mind of a terrorist

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As investigators in Boston narrow their search in the bombings, CBS Atlanta spoke with a profiler who explained what law enforcement looks for when they are tracking a criminal.

Dr. Dave Davis, a forensic psychiatrist and medical director of Piedmont Hospital's psychiatric clinic, said the person who detonated the explosives is likely someone who feels powerless and alienated by society.

Hurting so many people is how that person sends a message and regains a sense of power, Davis said.

"They see themselves as victims and they're angry about it," Davis said. "It's unconscious - the feeling of being helpless and powerless."

Davis, who helped investigators find the man eventually convicted in the Atlanta child murders decades ago, explained the thought process of the person or people who would want to kill or hurt so many people.

"Think about the sense of power this person has to hurt other people, with the rage and the hostility, the anger, the hatred. All of that explodes just like this bomb," Davis said.

The bomber or bombers used a pressure cooker-type device, loaded with ball bearings and nails, designed to maim as many people as possible.

"It's got to be intoxicating to that person," said Davis, who added the attacker probably has little sympathy for others.

"Some people, their empathic capacity is completely blocked off," Davis said.

The type of explosives used plus the fact they were set off on tax day and just a few days before the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing should give investigators a good idea of who to look for, Davis said.

"They know the statistics - they got to look wide, outside the box," Davis said. "It's probably somebody who has an ax to grind against the government, with the American people - with the whole system."

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