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Game Theoretic Centrality Analysis of Terrorist Networks: The Cases of Jemaah Islamiyah and Al Qaeda

By R. Lindelauf, H.J.M. Hamers and B.G.M. Husslage


The identification of key players in a terrorist network can lead to prevention of attacks, due to efficient allocation of surveillance means or isolation of key players in order to destabilize the network. In this paper we introduce a game theoretic approach to identify key players in terrorist networks. The advantage of this approach is that both the structure of the terrorist network, which usually reflects a communication structure, as well non-network features, which represent individual parameters like financial means or bomb building skills, can be taken into account. The application of our methodology results in rankings of the terrorists in the network. We illustrate our methodology by two case studies: Jemaah Islamiyah’s Bali bombing and Al Qaeda’s 9/11 attack, which has led to new insights in the operational networks responsible for these attacks.

Publisher: Operations Research
Year: 2011
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