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Hiding in Plain Sight – Using Signals to Detect Terrorists

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  • Atin Basuchoudhary

    ()
    (Department of Economics and Business, Virginia Military Institute)

  • Laura Razzolini

    ()
    (Department of Economics, VCU School of Business)

Abstract

In this paper, we study the interaction between a governmental security agency, such as the Transportation Security Agency, or the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and a terrorist organization, such as Al Qaeda. The governmental agency wants to stop the terrorists, but first must infer whether a visa applicant or an airline passenger is a terrorist or not, on the basis of some observable signal. On the other hand, the terrorist organization’s objective is to get past security to commit murder and mayhem. We derive the equilibrium strategy under these circumstances. With a signaling model we evaluate specific anti-terrorist policies such as the creation of the new Homeland Security Agency and increased airport security screening.

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File URL: http://www.people.vcu.edu/~lrazzolini/terror.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by VCU School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0502.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:vcu:wpaper:0502

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  1. Lapan, Harvey E & Sandler, Todd, 1988. "To Bargain or Not to Bargain: That Is the Question," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 16-21, May.
  2. John Knowles & Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, 2001. "Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(1), pages 203-232, February.
  3. Lapan, Harvey E. & Sandler, Todd, 1993. "Terrorism and signalling," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 383-397, August.
  4. Cauley, Jon & Im, Eric Iksoon, 1988. "Intervention Policy Analysis of Skyjackings and Other Terrorist Incidents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 27-31, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Subhayu Bandyopadhyay & Todd Sandler, 2009. "The interplay between preemptive and defensive counterterrorism measures: a two-stage game," Working Papers 2008-034, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  2. Wang, Xiaofang & Zhuang, Jun, 2011. "Balancing congestion and security in the presence of strategic applicants with private information," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 212(1), pages 100-111, July.
  3. Holt, Charles & Kydd, Andrew & Razzolini, Laura & Sheremeta, Roman, 2014. "The Paradox of Misaligned Profiling: Theory and Experimental Evidence," MPRA Paper 56508, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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