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Proceedings Paper

A Bayesian belief network of threat anticipation and terrorist motivations
Author(s): Mohammed M. Olama; Glenn O. Allgood; Kristen M. Davenport; Jack C. Schryver
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Paper Abstract

Recent events highlight the need for efficient tools for anticipating the threat posed by terrorists, whether individual or groups. Antiterrorism includes fostering awareness of potential threats, deterring aggressors, developing security measures, planning for future events, halting an event in process, and ultimately mitigating and managing the consequences of an event. To analyze such components, one must understand various aspects of threat elements like physical assets and their economic and social impacts. To this aim, we developed a three-layer Bayesian belief network (BBN) model that takes into consideration the relative threat of an attack against a particular asset (physical layer) as well as the individual psychology and motivations that would induce a person to either act alone or join a terrorist group and commit terrorist acts (social and economic layers). After researching the many possible motivations to become a terrorist, the main factors are compiled and sorted into categories such as initial and personal indicators, exclusion factors, and predictive behaviors. Assessing such threats requires combining information from disparate data sources most of which involve uncertainties. BBN combines these data in a coherent, analytically defensible, and understandable manner. The developed BBN model takes into consideration the likelihood and consequence of a threat in order to draw inferences about the risk of a terrorist attack so that mitigation efforts can be optimally deployed. The model is constructed using a network engineering process that treats the probability distributions of all the BBN nodes within the broader context of the system development process.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 May 2010
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7666, Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense IX, 76660V (5 May 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.849464
Show Author Affiliations
Mohammed M. Olama, Oak Ridge National Lab. (United States)
Glenn O. Allgood, Oak Ridge National Lab. (United States)
Kristen M. Davenport, Southwestern Univ. (United States)
Jack C. Schryver, Oak Ridge National Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7666:
Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense IX
Edward M. Carapezza, Editor(s)

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