Game Theoretic Centrality Analysis of Terrorist Networks: The Cases of Jemaah Islamiyah and Al Qaeda
CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2011-107
23 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2011 Last revised: 3 Oct 2011
Date Written: September 28, 2011
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.
Keywords: terrorism, network analysis, centrality, game theory
JEL Classification: C71
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation