Social Network Analysis to Combat Terrorism: 2015 Paris Attacks

  • Animesh GuptaEmail author
  • Tansel Özyer
  • Jon Rokne
  • Reda Alhajj
Part of the Lecture Notes in Social Networks book series (LNSN)


A series of attacks shook Paris in the year 2015. They were well-coordinated attacks by the terrorist organization ISIL. An in-depth analysis of the attacks is presented in this chapter. This work is divided into several stages and every stage progresses into the next stage by adding more information useful for the upcoming stage. Initially, data about terrorists is gathered from newspapers and online bulletins. The collected data is then transformed into a network which is created using an adjacency matrix. Strength of the relationship between the involved terrorists is also factored in while creating the network. To gather insight into this network, centrality measures are calculated. This analysis brought forward interesting facts such as who were the most important person(s) in the network and removing which person(s) would cripple the network. The final phase of this process was a Twitter analysis of the Paris attacks based on four keywords related to the attack. This further revealed a few facts which were unreported in major newspapers. Some conclusions and understanding of the attacks after an in-depth data analysis of Paris attacks are also reported.


Paris attacks 2015 Bataclan Stade de France Terrorist organizations Twitter analysis 


  1. 1.
    J. Kostov, France honors victims of Paris terrorist attacks. WSJ. (2017).
  2. 2.
    Injuries from Paris attacks will take long to heal. (2017).
  3. 3.
    France, Russia strike Islamic state; new suspect sought. Reuters. (2017).
  4. 4.
  5. 5.
    A. Afonso, Social network analysis of terrorist networks. (2017).
  6. 6.
    S.A. Koschade, A social network analysis of Jemaah Islamiyah: the applications to counter-terrorism and intelligence. Stud. Conflict Terror 29(6), 559–575 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    R.C. van der Hulst, Introduction to social network analysis (SNA) as an investigative tool. Trends Organ Crime 12(2), 101–121 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ressler, S., Social network analysis as an approach to combat terrorism: past, present, and future research, homeland security affairs 2, (2006)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    A. Perliger, A. Pedahzur, Social network analysis in the study of terrorism and political violence. Political Sci Politics 44(1), 45–50 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    R. Medina, Social network analysis: a case study of the Islamist terrorist network. Secur. J. 27(1), 97–121 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    B. Bader, T. Schuster, Expatriate social networks in terrorism-endangered countries: an empirical analysis in Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. J. Int. Manag. 21(1), 63–77 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    R. Lindelauf, H. Hamers, B. Husslage, Game theoretic centrality analysis of terrorist networks: the cases of Jemaah Islamiyah and Al Qaeda, CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2011–107, (2011)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    P. Fellman, R. Wright, Modeling terrorist networks, complex systems at the mid-range, the intelligencer. J. U.S. Int. Stud. 14(1), (2014)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Connecting the Dots—Social network analysis of 9–11 terror network. (2017).
  15. 15.
    N. Koochakzadeh, A. Sarraf, K. Kianmehr, J.G. Rokne, R. Alhajj, Netdriller: a powerful social network analysis tool, in Proceedings of IEEE ICDM. 1235–1238. (2011)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    An introduction to text mining using twitter streaming API and Python//Adil Moujahid//Data analytics and more. (2017).
  17. 17.
    Web of terror from Paris to Brussels. Mail Online. (2017).
  18. 18.
    J. Klausen, Tweeting the Jihad: social media networks of western foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq. Stud Conflict and Terror 38(1), 1–22 (2014) CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Animesh Gupta
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tansel Özyer
    • 2
  • Jon Rokne
    • 1
  • Reda Alhajj
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Department of Computer EngineeringTOBB University of Economics and TechnologyAnkaraTurkey

Personalised recommendations