Date of Original Version

2005

Type

Article

Rights Management

http://www.cmu.edu/joss/content/articles/volume6/TsvetovatCarley/

Abstract or Table of Contents

Given the increasing threat of terrorism and spread of terrorist organizations, it is of vital importance to understand the properties of such organizations and to devise successful strategies for destabilizing them or decreasing their efficiency. However, intelligence information on these organizations is often incomplete, inaccurate or simply not available. This makes the study of terrorist networks and the evaluation of destabilization strategies difficult. In this paper, we propose a computational methodology for realistically simulating terrorist networks and evaluating alternative destabilization strategies. We proceed to use this methodology to evaluate and conduct a sensitivity analysis of the impact of various destabilization strategies under varying information surveillance regimes. We find that destabilization strategies that focus on the isolation of individuals who are highly central are ineffective in the long run as the network will heal itself as individuals who are nearly structurally equivalent to the isolated individuals "move in" and fill the communication gaps.

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