Episode 051: Jim McGee – HRT, FCI Talladega Hostage Rescue

Retired Special Agent Jim McGee served in the FBI for nearly 21 years. This week on FBI Retired Case File Review, he is interviewed about being a member of the FBI Hostage Rescue Team (HRT), one of the world’s most elite counter-terrorism teams. McGee provides a first-hand account of his participation in the HRT’s first dynamic assault mission which resulted in the successful hostage rescue of nine. In 1991, a violent group of Cuban inmates in the Federal Correctional Institution in Talladega, Alabama, overpowered their guards and took hostages. The inmates demanded that they not to be deported back to Cuba. The HRT was called in and the hostages were rescued unharmed. For their efforts during the Talladega hostage rescue, Jim and the other HRT members were awarded the FBI Medal of Meritorious Achievement. McGee wrote a book about his experience—Phase Line Green—available by contacting McGee directly.

During his FBI tenure McGee was assigned to 4 FBI Field Offices, the Critical Incident Response Group-Hostage Rescue Team, FBI Headquarters (FBIHQ) and the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece.

Jim McGee held several leadership positions during his FBI career, to include FBIHQ Terrorism Supervisor, Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) Supervisor, JTTF Program Manager, Inspector and Security Coordinator for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games. Mr. McGee supervised investigative programs that addressed domestic and international terrorism, foreign counterintelligence, computer crimes, critical infrastructure protection, special operations and SWAT. He is a certified Crisis Management Coordinator, Firearms/Police Instructor, Crisis Negotiator and WMD/HAZMAT Coordinator. During his FBI career, Mr. McGee received numerous awards to include the FBI Shield of Bravery, the FBI Medal of Merit, the FBI Medal of Valor, the Federal Law Enforcement Officer’s Association Medal of Valor, the U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Heroism, the Department of Justice Certificate of Merit and the Department of Justice Certificate of Special Recognition.

Special Agent (Retired)

James McGee

11/17/1986 – 10/1/2007

The following FBI overview and newspaper article provide additional background material about the FCI Talladega Hostage Rescue:

1991 Talladega Prison Riot – A Look Back at the FBI’s Early Crisis Response Capabilities


The following is a 6 Part FBI overview about Hostage Rescue Team (HRT):

Part 1: Three Decades of Service
Part 2: The Crucible of Selection
Part 3: Training for Every Contingency
Part 4: Night Maneuvers
Part 5: Held to a Higher Standard
Part 6: Mission in the Gulf of Aden

Video: HRT Marks 30 Years

McGee during his time on the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team.







McGee and a fellow operator shortly after the successful Talladega hostage rescue.










Phase Line Green is McGee’s behind-the-scenes account of the prison riot and Talladega hostage rescue. Hardback copies of the book are available for $30 by contacting McGee directly (jhnjmcg at aol.com).
















Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 250 episodes available for free on all popular podcast apps.


  1. Emily QuarrickMay 29, 2018

    To me, any type of medal or award that this man won is completely null and void by way of his arrogance. Watching his interviews and the way he smirks and speaks is infuriating and takes away his credibility as a decent human being.

  2. ProemedMarch 2, 2018

    @ZeroZee I couldn’t agree more! Maybe Jerri can learn how overall perception can be tainted by 1 act of extreme arrogance.

    1. Jerri WilliamsMarch 3, 2018

      In addition to being an FBI agent, I worked for 12 years as a spokesperson for the FBI and Philadelphia’s Transit system. Believe me, I know all about perceptions! That’s why I approve negative (non-threatening) comments regarding this post. Transparency and respect for different opinions is key.

  3. BenMarch 1, 2018

    His attitude is exactly why people are hating our authorities!

  4. JimFebruary 14, 2018

    Guy should be writing his next book from prison!
    93 gas canisters fired at children… And he gets a medal for it! Write about Waco ffs

  5. John BelcherFebruary 11, 2018

    Why did you not write about waco

    1. Jerri WilliamsFebruary 12, 2018

      The interview was specifically about the prison riot, the subject of Jim’s book.

  6. ZeroZee0February 3, 2018

    Just watched him on the A&E show about Waco. Those idiots were Bat-Shit crazy, but This Douche Nozzle is the Epitome of Government Arrogance and Overreach.

    1. Jerri WilliamsFebruary 3, 2018

      I respect your right to express your opinion and, therefore, partially approved this comment.


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