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   Undertoad  Wednesday Apr 3 11:25 AM

4/3: Graphing social connections in Al Queda

We've been told that Al Queda is a terrorist "network", and that the way it operates makes it hard to investigate through the usual intelligence methods.

bin Laden bragged about the impenetrability of the terrorist network, saying "Those who were trained to fly didn't know the others. One group of people did not know the other group."

So social scientist Valdis Krebs took it upon himself to watch major news sources for information about connections between specific individuals within the network -- being careful to watch what information was proven true and which proven false. After watching, graphing, and applying statistical analysis to the problem, he's come up with diagrams which show the connections.

His entire article includes a graph of the network much larger than this one, and has text explaining how trusted connections are made in training camps and then dropped for years at a time. This prevents intelligence, doing the same things that Mr. Krebs does, from detecting such connections until they are actually employed. It's only when the dormant connections become active that it's possible to find them at all.

The article is here .

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