Home > Arrests and detainee isues, Articles of interest, Attacks and Plots, Operational analysis > Edge of network connections and the undie bomber

Edge of network connections and the undie bomber

Was just reading this piece about the Undie bomber and this little snippet from page two stood out.

Still, while he was seen to be “reaching out” to known extremists and appearing on “the periphery of other investigations” into radical suspects there, he was not considered a terrorist threat himself, according to a British counterintelligence official.

via Lonely Trek to Radicalism for Terror Suspect – NYTimes.com.

Edge of network connections–again. Of course the problem is always resourcing. There is never enough time to track down everything. But still, it seems to me that we see this over and over and over again. Once the dissertation goes in for examination I’m going to work up my little theory on edge of network connections into something substantive. Ok so it’s not a theory in the proper sense of the word, but I’ll be able to build a fairly robust analytical framework around it post thesis.For those of you new to the blog and wondering what the hell I am talking about you can find a little explanation here, and then a bit of background on it here. As I said I wanted to try to work this up, using a few cases and OS data, but it won’t be until post thesis now.

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  1. 01/17/2010 at 10:46 pm

    I think the other thing to note with the perspective of this periphery of investigation, is that it is likely that he was one of many individuals in such a periphery. He attended some conferences at university and hung around some slightly radical environments. London is full of both, making it quite hard to identify individuals.

    More generally, I am surprised this article didn’t go into the London part in greater detail, though I suppose the reporter was covering this from Nigeria.

  2. doug
    01/18/2010 at 5:54 am
  3. davidbfpo
    01/19/2010 at 6:58 am

    As much as I admire Leah’s reminder of ‘edge of network connections’ where is the judgement that such a large “dragnet” is needed and what would the intelligence requirement be?

    Amnesty International in their campaign against Guantanamo Bay held meetings with orange jumpsuits; have invited speakers, for example Moazzam Begg, who some will label a ‘known extremist’, to speak at meetings. Are those who attend and listen on ‘the edge’?

    In the UK context the role of higher education has come back to the fore, after the Detroit attack, was the Nigerian student radicalised in London – as favoured by some and seen another example of “Londonistan”. Search on Google for Professor Anthony Gliess, an often cited expert.

    Talking about the ‘edge of networks’ is hardly persuasive in seeking individual or institutional support.

    Difficult issues abound.

    • Leah Farrall, Australia
      01/19/2010 at 7:47 am

      Thanks for your comment. I was referring to edge of networks within pre-existing intelligence information and not starting new dragnets.

  1. 01/25/2010 at 1:52 am

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