Applying Social Network Analysis to Terrorist Financing
This chapter posits social network analysis as a means to making links between terrorism and organized crime more apparent. Drawing on evidence from select Hezbollah and Al-Shabaab financing networks, it shows the relative autonomy local operators enjoy in using pornography, contraband cigarettes, immigration fraud and credit card fraud to raise funds. That network’s structure shows that Hezbollah is no less a terrorist organization than an organized crime syndicate: Transnational Organized Crime nodes are typically connected to many other nodes in the network. Hezbollah’s fundraising networks allow such connectivity because of the group’s typically high levels of mutual trust and familial relationships. This creates a vulnerability that can be exploited by law enforcement and intelligence organizations.