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NICE ONE CYRIL : Who Am I?
The Question is:  is it even important?

I guess not... Who I am is not important, and I don't want to exalt myself or my work, I am just a common man you probably would never know. Just another guy next door or just that person in the street you who walk past you enjoying the world around. So, as a person I am not important but I do believe my research is...

My research and studies are primarily based on criminological research and terrorism studies. My interests are in the following fields and again, I do believe the projects I am working are beneficial to everyone in many ways.

• Criminological Research
• Terrorism Studies
• Religion and Religious Terrorism

I am currently working on a few projects on religious terrorism and the law enforcement strategies. Which includes developing a manual for hostage negotiators in dealing with religious terrorists, which not only encompass barricaded situations and crisis intervention but post crisis management too.
Those who are interested in criminology, police science, and criminological research please remember to visit my site Criminology Today

Psychology, primarily forensic and investigative, is another field of interest forensic psychology and PTSD, I worked a number of institutions honing my experience with people who have suffered post-traumatic stress disorder. Originally it was a minor interest of mine, as I was trying to find a relation between episodic dyscontrol and violent criminality. During my studies, I came across a few PTSD cases and was interested more as a human being than a criminologist.  Most of the PTSD cases, I came across were tragic and at times I felt it' is difficult to detach oneself clinically when dealing with sorrow and human tragedy... Most of these cases are girls from the abusive families or from the streets; surprisingly the war veterans are more responsive to counselling and rehabilitation. Those experiences are the reason for choosing Seneca's great words, "Ubicumque homo est, ibi beneficio locus est" for this page.

My Studies in Psychology and Criminology are primarily based on interrogation of criminals and terrorists, hostage negotiation, religious terrorism, post-traumatic stress disorder, and ethnicity.  Law Enforcement support is another field of interest where formulating strategies for law enforcement and counter terrorism agencies are the main area of my research.

In 2008 my studies experienced a sudden shift from criminology, especially from violent crime to transnational crime then to terrorism research, thanks to my mentor Paul Wilkinson. Prof. Wilkinson was one of the pioneers in terrorism studies, some even consider him as the father of terrorism studies. He successfully transplanted my interests from violent crime research to terrorism.

 My original plan was a combined research in Violent Crime Apprehension Program (ViCAP) and Violent Crime Linkage Analysis System (ViCLAS). The former was developed by FBI (USA) and the later was designed by Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). ViCAP is known for its invaluable use in identifying and tracking serial killers and felons. ViCLAS is now used by homicide investigators in Australia, Austria, China, Sweden and even several states in USA. Note that, at the same time, ViCAP had not been adopted by many police forces in USA. According to David Cavanaugh, a ViCAP expert at Harvard University noted, "The Canadians...have taken a good American idea and transformed it into the best in the world."

 As you can see this is not exactly my résumé just a brief overview on my studies and career path. I prefer to listen your views. Remember to visit my blog as well, for discussions and views.


MENTOR AND LEGEND

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference - Robert Frost

Prof. Paul Wilkinson guided me from University of Dundee to University of Aberdeen to pursue a career in terrorism research. As he was retiring from St. Andrews he couldn't take me under his wings, however, he was a guide, mentor and a father figure in  my life as a terrorism researcher.

 Though I always felt that he was a bit worried about my research into religious terrorism, which he once told me that  it will not be a path wise man would tread, yet he himself was never keen on taking a path others would travel. In his book Political Terrorism he boldly asserted that it is extraordinarily difficult for terrorist to predict the psychological reactions of that sector of population which they regard as their 'audience.' He approached the field of terrorism with his own unique perspective which is why many would consider him as the father of terrorism studies.

 Quite often he advised me that without proper and expert supervisorial support, research in religious terrorism can be a double edge sword which might be more harmful when it comes to controversy and sensitivity. How right he was.. .!

There I was and here I am, still battling dragons of political correctness, controversies, and vested interests that would clash with academic freedom, justice and the values we would bleed for. Well, this is, after all a voyage for a beginning. There are dark clouds, lightning and thunderstorm, but as John Augustus Shedd said, "A ship is safe in the harbour, but it is not built for that."


Copyright © 2012 Cyril Thomas. So it is...All Rights Reserved.

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"Ubicumque homo est, ibi beneficio locus est" is from Thyestes, CCXIV  of Seneca (54 BC – 37 AD) meaning - wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.

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