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


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  • Lindelauf, R.
  • Hamers, H.J.M.
  • Husslage, B.G.M.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

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    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.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2011-107.

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    Date of creation: 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:2011107

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    Related research

    Keywords: terrorism; network analysis; centrality; game theory;

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    1. John McMillan, 1994. "Selling Spectrum Rights," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 145-162, Summer.
    2. Ehud Kalai, 1977. "Proportional Solutions to Bargaining Situations: Interpersonal Utility Comparisons," Discussion Papers 179, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    3. Lindelauf, R. & Borm, P.E.M. & Hamers, H.J.M., 2009. "Understanding Terrorist Network Topologies and Their Resilience Against Disruption," Discussion Paper 2009-85, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    4. Lindelauf, R. & Borm, P.E.M. & Hamers, H.J.M., 2008. "The Influence of Secrecy on the Communication Structure of Covert Networks," Discussion Paper 2008-23, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    5. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
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    Cited by:
    1. Husslage, B.G.M. & Lindelauf, R. & Hamers, H.J.M., 2012. "Leaderless Covert Networks: A Quantitative Approach," Discussion Paper 2012-057, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.


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