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Disrupting Improvised Explosive Device Terror Campaigns: Basic Research Opportunities, A Workshop Report Disrupting Improvised Explosive Device Terror Campaigns: Basic Research Opportunities A WORKSHOP REPORT Committee on Defeating Improvised Explosive Devices: Basic Research to Interrupt the IED Delivery Chain Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology Division on Earth and Life Studies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, DC www.nap.edu
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Disrupting Improvised Explosive Device Terror Campaigns: Basic Research Opportunities, A Workshop Report THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS, 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by the Office of Naval Research, US Department of the Navy, under Grant N00014-05-G-0288. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-12420-1 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-12420-4 Additional copies of this report are available from: The National Academies Press 500 Fifth Street, NW Box 285 Washington, DC 20055 (800) 624-6242 (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area) http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2008 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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Disrupting Improvised Explosive Device Terror Campaigns: Basic Research Opportunities, A Workshop Report THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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Disrupting Improvised Explosive Device Terror Campaigns: Basic Research Opportunities, A Workshop Report COMMITTEE ON DEFEATING IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICES: BASIC RESEARCH TO INTERRUPT THE IED DELIVERY CHAIN Chairperson JOHN L. ANDERSON, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL Members ALAN BERMAN, Independent Consultant, Alexandria, VA CHARLES A. BOUMAN, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN MARTHA CRENSHAW, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA MARY LOU FULTZ, University of Maryland, College Park, MD WILLIAM J. HURLEY, Institute for Defense Analyses, Alexandria, VA ANIL K. JAIN, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI EDWARD H. KAPLAN, Yale University, New Haven, CT ANDREW W. MOORE, Google, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA JIMMIE C. OXLEY, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI AMY SANDS, Monterey Institute for International Studies, Monterey, CA WILLIAM C. TROGLER, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA JONATHAN YOUNG, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA Staff NORMAN GROSSBLATT, Senior Editor KATHRYN HUGHES, Associate Program Officer KELA MASTERS, Senior Program Assistant JESSICA L. PULLEN, Research Assistant FEDERICO M. SAN MARTINI, Program Officer, Study Director DOROTHY ZOLANDZ, Director, Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology
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Disrupting Improvised Explosive Device Terror Campaigns: Basic Research Opportunities, A Workshop Report BOARD ON CHEMICAL SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY Chairpersons F. FLEMING CRIM (NAS), University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI GARY S. CALABRESE (NAE), Corning Company, Corning, NY Members BENJAMIN ANDERSON, Lilly Research Laboratories, Indianapolis, IN PABLO G. DEBENEDETTI (NAE), Princeton University, Princeton, NJ RYAN R. DIRXX, Arkema, Inc., Bristol, PA GEORGE W. FLYNN, Columbia University, New York, NY MAURICIO FUTRAN, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, New Brunswick, NJ MARY GALVIN-DONOGHUE, Air Products and Chemicals, Allentown, PA PAULA T. HAMMOND, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA RIGOBERTO HERNANDEZ, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA JAY D. KEASLING (NAS), University of California, Berkeley, CA JAMES L. KINSEY (NAS), Rice University, Houston, TX MARTHA A. KREBS, California Energy Commission, Sacramento, CA CHARLES T. KRESGE, Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI JOSEPH A. MILLER (NAE), Corning, Inc., Corning, NY SCOTT J. MILLER, Yale University, New Haven, CT GERALD V. POJE, Independent Consultant, Vienna, VA DONALD PROSNITZ, RAND Corporation, Walnut Creek, CA THOMAS H. UPTON, ExxonMobil Chemical Company, Baytown, TX National Research Council Staff KATHRYN HUGHES, Associate Program Officer TINA M. MASCIANGIOLI, Program Officer KELA MASTERS, Senior Program Assistant ERICKA M. MCGOWAN, Associate Program Officer SYBIL A. PAIGE, Administrative Associate JESSICA L. PULLEN, Research Assistant FEDERICO M. SAN MARTINI, Program Officer DOROTHY ZOLANDZ, Director
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Disrupting Improvised Explosive Device Terror Campaigns: Basic Research Opportunities, A Workshop Report PREFACE In 2005, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) commissioned a study by the National Research Council to “examine the current state of knowledge and practice in the prevention, detection, and mitigation of the effects of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and make recommendations for avenues of basic research.” In 2007, the National Research Council issued the report Countering the Threat of Improvised Explosive Devices: Basic Research Opportunities, which identified compelling directions in basic research. Many of the research subjects discussed in the 2007 report are worthy of much more detailed treatment than was possible in a report of such broad scope. Accordingly, the study committee that wrote the report organized and executed two workshops, which are summarized here. The workshop topics were chosen to allow ONR to explore two challenging fields of research in additional depth with a large cross-section of the research community. That served the dual purposes of helping ONR to frame its research programs and providing a forum to facilitate interactions between researchers and ONR, the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, and other agencies, in particular in fields in which ONR has not traditionally been active. The first workshop, held in February 2008 in Irvine, CA, was titled “Disrupting IED Terror Campaigns: Finding the Weak Links.” It focused on the human dimension of IED terror campaigns and on identifying basic research that could lead to improved approaches to disrupting IED terrorist organizations. Members at all levels of the organization—from leader, financier, and bomb-maker through low-level laborers—can be involved in IED activities, and understanding their roles and motivations is important in addressing the threat posed by IEDs. The workshop also considered research and perspectives on the interactions of the threat organization with the general population. The workshop brought together experts from a variety of fields, including cultural anthropology, political science, sociology, psychology, social-network analysis, game theory, communication, and criminology. Workshop participants also included people who had operational experience, including law-enforcement professionals, members of the intelligence community, and representatives of Department of Defense organizations. The second workshop, held in March 2008 in Washington, DC, was titled “Disrupting IED Terror Campaigns: Predicting IED Activities.” Its focus was on identifying basic research that could lead to improved ability to predict IED-related activities on the basis of the collection and interpretation of data from a variety of sources—visual, electronic, material, transaction, narrative, and others. A successful and extended IED campaign usually requires the efforts of multiple people and substantial material and financial resources that generally need to be acquired from multiple sources, though single persons have succeeded in developing and deploying IEDs. It is believed that monitoring the movement of people and resources can assist in the prediction of IED-related activities and reveal an organization’s underlying structure. Therefore, development of methods for collecting and analyzing data related to those movements
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Disrupting Improvised Explosive Device Terror Campaigns: Basic Research Opportunities, A Workshop Report has been identified as a key element in countering the IED threat. Effective collection, integration, and interpretation of data are challenging—and promising—subjects of basic research aimed at mitigating the threat posed by IED terror campaigns. The workshop brought together experts from a variety of fields, including statistics, social sciences, cultural anthropology, forensic sciences, information sciences, web analytics, and mathematics. The purpose of the workshops was to identify basic-research questions. This report summarizes the presentations and discussions that occurred at the workshops and highlights key themes of each. The views expressed in this document are those of the workshop participants and are not necessarily those of the committee.
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Disrupting Improvised Explosive Device Terror Campaigns: Basic Research Opportunities, A Workshop Report Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Dr. Scott Acton, University of Virginia Dr. Alfred Blumstein, Carnegie Mellon University Mr. Michael Hopmeier, Unconventional Concepts, Inc. Dr. Gary LaFree, University of Maryland, College Park Dr. C. Bradley Moore, University of California, Berkeley Dr. Dennis Roberson, Illinois Institute of Technology Dr. Jacob Shapiro, Princeton University Dr. Neil Smelser, University of California, Berkeley Dr. Ann Speed, Sandia National Laboratories Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the report nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Dr. R. Stephen Berry, University of Chicago. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were considered carefully. Responsibility for the final content of the report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
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Disrupting Improvised Explosive Device Terror Campaigns: Basic Research Opportunities, A Workshop Report CONTENTS PREFACE vii SUMMARY 1 THE IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICE THREAT 2 WORKSHOP 1: FINDING THE WEAK LINKS 3 WORKSHOP 2: PREDICTING IED ACTIVITIES 4 WORKSHOP THEMES 5 Themes from Workshop 1 5 Themes from Workshop 2 7 Common Themes from Workshops 1 and 2 9 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 11 THE IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICE THREAT 11 WORKSHOP 1: FINDING THE WEAK LINKS 13 WORKSHOP 2: PREDICTING IED ACTIVITIES 14 THE ROLE OF BASIC RESEARCH 14 CHAPTER 2: FINDING THE WEAK LINKS (WORKSHOP 1) 16 SOME PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS ON JIHADIST OPERATIONS IN EUROPE AND IED USE 16 IEDS AND THE TROUBLES: LESSONS FROM NORTHERN IRELAND 17 COUNTER-TERRORISM LESSONS FROM COLOMBIA’S WAR ON DRUGS—COMPETITIVE ADAPTATION: NARCS VS NARCOS 19 LESSONS LEARNED FROM AFGHANISTAN 21 INSURGENCY IN IRAQ 22 BREAKOUT SESSION DISCUSSIONS 23 How to Disrupt an Improvised Explosive Device Organization’s Personnel System 23 How to Disrupt an Improvised Explosive Device Organization’s Resources 24 How to Affect Popular Support and Disrupt Supportive Elements of the Environment 26 EMERGING THEMES 26 Data and Approaches Available for Analysis 26 Contextual Factors That Influence a Group’s Behavioral Choices 27 Public Support or Tolerance 28 Network and Threat Dynamics 28 Actions and Behaviors of the Blue Forces 28 CHAPTER 3: PREDICTING IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICE ACTIVITIES (WORKSHOP 2) 30 THREAT DETECTION: THROUGH THE EYES OF PRACTITIONERS 30 OVERVIEW OF TOLL-FRAUD DETECTION 31 DEPLOYING WIRELESS SENSOR NETWORKS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SENSING 33 DATA FUSION: AN ENABLER FOR IMPROVED IED PREDICTION 34 VLADIMIR LEFEBVRE’S REFLEXIVE CONTROL THEORY AND IEDS 36 STATISTICAL SIGNAL PROCESSING FOR IED DISCOVERY 37 BREAKOUT SESSION DISCUSSION 39
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Disrupting Improvised Explosive Device Terror Campaigns: Basic Research Opportunities, A Workshop Report Data to Predict Improvised Explosive Device Activities and Basic Research to Enable the Handling, Priority-Setting, and Delivery of Data 40 Research Needed to Leverage Human Expertise in Data Interpretation 41 Research Opportunities to Analyze Mixed, Complex, Noisy, or Incomplete Data 43 EMERGING THEMES 45 Collection, Handling, and Preprocessing of Data 45 Availability of Data for Researchers 45 Improvement in and Automation of Data Analysis 46 Characterization of Electronic and Social Networks 46 Addressing the Types, Validity, and Completeness of and Noise in Datasets 46 CHAPTER 4: WORKSHOP THEMES 48 WORKSHOP 1: DISRUPTING IED CAMPAIGNS: FINDING THE WEAK LINKS 48 Data and Approaches Available for Analysis 48 Contextual Issues Influencing a Group’s Behavioral Choices 48 Public Support or Tolerance 49 Network and Threat Dynamics 49 Actions and Behaviors of the Blue Forces 49 WORKSHOP 2: DISRUPTING IED CAMPAIGNS: PREDICTING IED ACTIVITIES 50 Data Collection and Analysis 50 Availability of Data 50 WORKSHOPS 1 AND 2 51 Need for Public Datasets 51 Decision Theory 51 Understanding Networks 51 Interdisciplinary Research 51 REFERENCES 53 APPENDIX A: PARTICIPANT-GENERATED LISTS OF RESEARCH SUBJECTS 55 APPENDIX B: LIST OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS 60 APPENDIX C: LIST OF WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS 64 WORKSHOP 1: FINDING THE WEAK LINKS (FEBRUARY 14-15, 2008) 64 WORKSHOP 2: PREDICTING IED ACTIVITIES (MARCH 17-18, 2008) 65 GLOSSARY 68