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Geospatial Structure of Terrorist Cells

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Volume: 28 Issue: 2 Dated: April 2011 Pages: 221-248
D. Kim Rossmo; Keith Harries
Date Published
April 2011
28 pages
This study investigated and mapped the spatial structure of terrorist cells.
Counterterrorism investigations commonly suffer from information overload problems that make the identification of relevant patterns difficult. Geographic prioritization models can be useful tools in such situations. The authors applied the general theories and principles of the environmental criminology perspective, and the specific ideas and concepts developed in geographic profiling, as a basis for understanding the geospatial patterns of terrorist cell behavior in Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey. From a unique access to police investigation files, the authors collected spatial data on terrorism incidents and terrorist cell sites, mapped these locations, and measured the distances from cell sites to incident sites and the distances between cell sites. The resulting probability distributions provide the basis for the development of a geospatial model for intelligence management. (Published Abstract)