Networks as strategic repertoires: Functional differentiation among Al-Shabaab terror cells

Christian Leuprecht, Kenneth Hall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

This article explains variation across the characteristics and structure of Al-Shabaab (AS) networks as a function of strategic repertoires. From a comparison of domestic and transnational AS recruitment and fundraising networks in the United States, the article generates hypotheses about the characteristics and structure of networks and how traits such as brokers, centrality characteristics of nodes, international linkages and use of funds are related to a network's purpose. The implications of these observations are twofold: The nature of a terror organisation's network is indicative of the organisation's strategy; conversely, the organisation's strategy will affect the nature of the network. On the one hand, knowing the function of the network makes it possible to counter it by detecting and debilitating the nodes. On the other hand, knowing the structure of a network makes it possible to surmise its purpose. The article concludes that, from a network perspective, terrorist recruitment and fundraising are distinct problems that require differentiated law-enforcement and security-intelligence approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Research on Illicit Networks
EditorsMartin Bouchard
PublisherRoutledge Taylor and Francis
Chapter10
Pages169-192
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781317579762, 9781317579755
ISBN (Print)9781138824652
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

“The chapters in this book were originally published in Global Crime, volume 14, issue 2-3 (May-August 2013). When citing this material, please use the original page numbering for each article, as follows:

Chapter 10
Networks as strategic repertoires: Functional differentiation among Al-Shaabaab terror cells
Christian Leuprecht and Kenneth Hall
Global Crime, volume 14, issue 2-3 (May-August 2013) pp. 287-310"

Keywords

  • Social network analysis
  • Criminology
  • Global Crime
  • network theory
  • political conspiracies
  • steroid distribution
  • methamphetamine production
  • illicit marketplaces on the Internet
  • small arms trafficking

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