Interviewing Terrorism Suspects and Offenders with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

Al-attar, Zainab (2018) Interviewing Terrorism Suspects and Offenders with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 17 (4). pp. 321-337. ISSN 1499-9013

[thumbnail of Author Submitted Manuscript] PDF (Author Submitted Manuscript) - Submitted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


Official URL:


Autistic individuals charged or convicted with terrorism offences face a range of unique challenges during a forensic interview, which are firstly borne out of their autistic functioning and secondly which are generated by the nuances of terrorist offences and the complex information commonly required by interviewers in relation to such offences and the pathways that led to them. To assist interviewers to understand the range of such challenges, a brief summary of the complexities of terrorist legislation in the UK is provided followed by an examination of seven facets of autism that may impact the interview style and content. The potential implications of each of the seven facets of autism for the terrorism interview will be highlighted, and a hypothetical case study will be presented to illustrate such implications. The medico-legal and ethical ramifications of making terrorism interviews responsive to the interviewee’s autistic functioning are considered throughout. Finally, recommendations are generated to guide forensic interviewers working with autistic terrorist suspects and offenders.

Repository Staff Only: item control page