NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL

MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA

Jamaatul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB): Targeting Strategy Based on Engaging the Trust Network by MAJ Ian Davis MAJ Carrie Worth

DA 4600: Dark Networks II Prof. Sean Everton

Ian Davis and Carrie Worth DA4600, Prof. Everton, Final Project

A.

INTRODUCTION. This project analyzes Jamaatul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) using Social Network

Analysis (SNA). The genesis of data collection for this project stems from DA 4500: Visual Analytics (Fall 2009). A lack of published material on JMB led to the used of data from the Institute for the Study of Violent Groups (ISVG). The ISVG gathers its data from open source reporting an is primarily focused on violent incidents. For this reason, the data does not focus on the structure and other non-violent interactions. For this projectdata, which was originally coded in Palantir, was exported to Pajek.1Specifically, we generated a 2-mode network between people and other entities and coded the current status of each actor (Dead, Jail, or Free). Additionally, we exported several 1-mode networks based on person-to-person relationships in the Palantir JMB dataset. These became the Acquaintance Network, Affiliation Network, Collaboration Network, Friendship Network, and Kinship Network. Based on analysis performed earlier in this study, we combined the Kinship, Collaboration, and Affiliation Networks to form the Trust Network. After combining and coding these networks, we analyzed themusing a variety of SNA methods. From this analysis, we determined targeting of the Trust Network would be effective in crippling the overall JMB network. B. BACKGROUND The Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), which translates to Assembly of Holy Warriors in Bangladesh, was formed in 1998. Some reports suggest that the JMB is the youth front of the Al Mujahideen, while others indicate that the JMB is a synonomous with Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB). The suspected founders of the JMB are AbdurRahman and

1 Pajek: Social Network Analysis (SNA) software.

Ian Davis and Carrie Worth DA4600, Prof. Everton, Final Project Dr. Mohammad Asadullah al-Galib. After returning from Afghan jihdist training in 1998, the two men organized the nucleus of the JMB in the Jamalpur district, Dhaka Division, which is located in the northern central region of Bangladesh. The purpose of the JMB was to establish the rule of Islam in Bangladesh through an armed struggle.23 The JMB is organized according to four geographic divisions in the north, northwestern, south, and central regions of Bangladesh. Each
Rajshahi Division Dhaka Division

division is subdivided into operational districts. The four divisions and underlying districts of JMB¶s operations are: 4

Khulna Division

Rajshahi Division (Bogra,Sirajganj, Dinajpur, Jaipurhat, Gaibandha, Naogaon, Nator, Rajshahi, Rangpur, and Tahkurgaon Districts) Khulna Division (Bagerhat, Jessore, Khulna, Meherpur, and Satkhira Districts)
Chittagong Division

Dhaka Division (Jamalpur, Mymensingh, Netrokona, and Tangail Districts) Chittagong Division (Chandpur, Laxmipur, and Chittagong Districts).

Figure 1. JMB Divisions

2 Institute for the Study of Violent Groups (ISVG). Jamaat-ul-Mujahidin Bancladesh ± ISVG Wiki. Retrieved

from https://wiki.isvg.org on October 22, 2009 [Cited: June 7, 2010].
3 South Asia Terrorism Portal. Jama¶atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). Retrieved from

http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/bangladesh/terroristoutfits/JMB.htm on October 30, 2009 [Cited: June 7, 2010]. 4 Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies. IPCS Special Report 11 ± Jama¶atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB): A Profile. IPCS Special Reports. February 2006. Retrieved from http://www.ipcs.org on October 22, 2009. [Cited June 9, 2010].

Ian Davis and Carrie Worth DA4600, Prof. Everton, Final Project JMB is also contains functional wings that serve specific needs and functions for the organization. They are the Majlish-e-Shura, the Women¶s Wing, the Military Wing, the Suicide Squad, the Information Technology Wing, and the Dawat (Invitational) Department. The Majlish-e-Shura is the highest policy making entity of JMB. It is the entity that would hypothetically govern Bangladesh if JMB were to succeed in its armed revolution. The group staunchly opposes 'anti-Muslim' influences and seeks to expel them from Bangladesh in a similar method as the Taliban or Al Qaeda.5 Little information is known about the activites of the JMB prior to 2005. The catalyst that puts the JMB and the JMJB under the Bangali government scrutiny was the bombing attacks on the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) on 10-15 February 2005. Those attacks led the government to officially recognize and outlaw the two groups. Despite the prohibition of the JMB and JMJB in February 2005, violence continued and the militant activity of the JMB did not diminish. The most significant campaign of attacks was the JMB¶s synchronized bombing campaign in 2005. On 17 August 2005, 459 small improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were detonated within half an hour of eachother throughout all but six of Bangladesh's 64 districts. Although the devices were intended to be non-lethal, two people were killed and 125 people were injured. The attacks were significant because of their scale, coordination, and targeting methodology.

5 Institute for the Study of Violent Groups (ISVG). Jamaat-ul-Mujahidin Bancladesh ± ISVG Wiki. Retrieved

from https://wiki.isvg.org on October 22, 2009 [Cited: June 7, 2010].

Ian Davis and Carrie Worth DA4600, Prof. Everton, Final Project MaulanaSaidurRahman is currently leading the JMB after the execution of the top six militant leaders of the outfit. In the early hours of 30March2007, six top militants of the JMB, including its 'supreme commander' MaulanaAbdurRahman and second-in-command,
Figure 2: JMB members hanged on March 30, 2007

SiddiqulIslam alias BanglaBhai were executed in different jails in Bangladesh. The other senior leaders of the outfit

who were hanged were Majlish-e-Shura(the highest decision-making body) members Abdul Awal, KhaledSaifullah, AtaurRahman Sunny, and suicide squad member IftekharHasan AlMamun. The Supreme Court of convicted the men for their involvement in the killing of two judges in Jhalakathi in November 2005.6 The ideology of the JMB is similar to other Islamic extremist groups. The group wants to establish Islamic rule via Sharia Law in Bangladesh and opposes any form of democracy as unIslamic. Socially, JMB opposes any type of entertainment or cultural function. Bombings at such events are believed to be the work of either the JMB or the JMJB. Both groups are responsible for terrorizing the western and southwestern regions of Bangladesh, where the groups have been involved in extortion. They have also demanded that the local women wear hijabs. The most popular targets of JMB militants are as follows:7 y Judges, Lawyers, and other members of the judiciary. JMB attacks these officials in an attempt to derail the formulation and implemenation of Islamic laws. y Activists, Intellectuals, Poets, and other members of the public.

6 South Asia Terrorism Portal. Jama¶atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). Retrieved from

http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/bangladesh/terroristoutfits/JMB.htm on October 30, 2009 [Cited: June 7, 2010]. 7 Institute for the Study of Violent Groups (ISVG). Jamaat-ul-Mujahidin Bancladesh ± ISVG Wiki. Retrieved from https://wiki.isvg.org on October 22, 2009 [Cited: June 7, 2010].

Ian Davis and Carrie Worth DA4600, Prof. Everton, Final Project y y y Leftist rebels known as Sarbaharas. Hindus, Ahmadiyah members, and other minority groups. Symbols of development, progression, secularism, or government (government buildings, press clubs, courthouses, cinemas, theaters, and the offices of non-governmental organizations). The JMB recruits members from universities, madrasas, and other career professionals. The group has approximately 10,000 full-time members, 100,000 part-time members, and approximately 1,000,000 trainees. Recruits are trained in madrassas and militant camps located in southern Bangladesh. Ukhia, a town south of Cox's Bazar, has several developed JMB camps and is outfitted withwith telephones, televisions, lecture halls, and interconnected bunkers.8 Current reporting derived from multiple sources indicates that the JMB, in the wake of government pressure, is avoiding direct contact with the government in order to prepare for future operations. After the capture of six JMB operatives that included two members of the JMB Majlish-e-Shura in September 2005, Director General Hassan MahmoodKhandkar of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) stated,"we are noticing two things in JMB now, they are trying to increase their organizational strength, and they are preparing to carry out subversive activities in the future." He added that the banned outfit is currently too weak to carry out an attack. The capture of the two shura members, the confiscation of bombmaking materials, and the intense persuit of JMB leadership, such as MaulanaSaidurRahman and his son Bashar, has severely disrupted JMB operations and will force JMB membership to go into hiding. This will unhinge their current operations by diverting focus from operational planning to evasion and

8 Ibid.

Ian Davis and Carrie Worth DA4600, Prof. Everton, Final Project reconstitution of top leadership.9 Despite this disruption of the JMB network, it is still a viable threat to Bangladesh. C. THEORY AND STRATEGY. Krebs (2002) noted that he encountered three problems of criminal network analysis as described by M. K. Sparrow: 1. Incompleteness ± the inevitability of missing nodes and links that the investigators will not uncover. 2. Fuzzy boundaries ± the difficulty in deciding who to include and who not to include. 3. Dynamic ± these networks are not static, they are always changing. Instead of looking at the presence or absence of a tie between two individuals, Sparrow suggests looking at the waning and waning strength of a tie depending upon the time and the task at hand. Our study also encountered these problems while examining the JMB network. A majority of the data was gathered by ISVG from arrest reports. While our current data set has certain actors listed as in jail or alive, with the dynamic nature of the network these individuals could now be free or dead respectively. Additionally, in the determination of our Trust Network, ³fuzzy boundaries´ led to many iterations who to include or exclude. Finally, the problem of incompleteness can never be overlooked in any study. Certain portions of a network may be so compartmentalized that even actors in the network itself are unaware of their role. Roberts and Everton (2009) describe two approaches to disrupting dark networks, which they describe as direct and indirect approaches:

9 Staff Corresponent. RAB captures six JMB operatives. The Daily Star: Internet Edition. Retrieved from

http://thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=111476 on September 27, 2009 [Cited June 9, 2010]. AND Staff Correspondent. JMB chief¶ wife held. The Daily Star: Internet Edition. Retrieved form http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=112355 on November 2, 2009. [Cited June 9, 2010].

Ian Davis and Carrie Worth DA4600, Prof. Everton, Final Project ³The Direct Approach involves aggressive and offensive measures to eliminate or capture network members and their supporters. We identify two strategies that derive from the Direct Approach: the Targeting Strategy and the Capacity-building Strategy. The Indirect Strategy is the use of subtle, noncoercive actions to combat dark networks. We identify four strategies that derive from the Indirect Approach: the Institution-Building Strategy; the Psychological Operations Strategy; the Information Strategy; and the Rehabilitation Strategy.´10

From what we have determined through analysis of the trust network, we are going to use a campaign of disinformation, targeted on specific players within the Trust Network, to fragment the overall JMB Network. Basically, we are going to ³isolate´ particular actors at key locations (cut-points) within the Trust Network through a deception campaign that will in turn fragment the entire JMB Network. D. DATA AND METHODS. Initial isolation of the JMB data for this search yielded relationships between 863 entities. The large data set was due to the ISVG¶s used of the ³Group Membership´ ontology in coding that does not give granularity person to person relationships (one-mode). Further refinement of the Palantir dataset did not include the relationships with outside organization. This reduced the dataset to 227 entities consisting of 172 people, 41 Terrorist Organizations, 5 Academic Institutions, 3Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), 2 Locations, an Academic Organization, a Bank Account, and a Political Organization.

10 Roberts, Nancy and Sean F. Everton, "Strategies for Combating Dark Networks", Department of Defense Analysis, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA. May 2009, p 1.

Ian Davis and Carrie Worth DA4600, Prof. Everton, Final Project

Figure 3: Depiction of JMB Network in Palantir

This information was generated into a 2-mode network between people and other entities in the dataset and exported to Pajek and UCINET.

Figure 4: Combined Network [NetDraw]

Ian Davis and Carrie Worth DA4600, Prof. Everton, Final Project Additionally, we exported the entity attributes for Current Status (Dead, Jailed, or Free). The status is coded as follows:
Code 0 1 2 Status Dead Jailed Alive and Free
Table 1: Current Status

The initial ³People2Entities´ 1-mode network revealed 58 people alive and free (Red Diamonds), 110 people in jail (Amber Boxes), and four dead (Black Circles). The four dead actors were the former JMB leadership, which was executed in 2007. Below is the combined JMB Network with nodes colored by status and sized by betweeness centrality.

Figure 5: Betweeness Centrality of Combined JMB Network [NetDraw]

Ian Davis and Carrie Worth DA4600, Prof. Everton, Final Project From the Combined JMB Network, we combined the Kinship Network, Affiliation Network, and Collaboration Network to form the Trust Network:

Figure 6: JMB Trust Network [NetDraw]

From this network, we ran additional centrality measures and ultimately extracted the main component:

Figure 7: Main Component of JMB Trust Network [NetDraw]

Ian Davis and Carrie Worth DA4600, Prof. Everton, Final Project And from here, we ran analysis to determine the cut-points, bridges, bi-components, brokerage ability and identify structural holes. From this analysis we found that 16 actors within the main component of the trust network were strong in sense of brokerage capability (shown below with node size varied by inverse constraint):

Figure 8: JMB Main Component of Trust Network with Inverse Constraint (brokerage) [NetDraw]

Finally, for further refinement, we utilized Borgatti¶s Key Player program to determine which actors within the main component of the trust network would be the best targets for our disinformation campaign. This process is detailed in the next section.

Ian Davis and Carrie Worth DA4600, Prof. Everton, Final Project E. ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION From the above information, we identified individuals as potential targets based on cutpoint analysis, brokerage, centrality measures, and key person determination (See Table 2). However, we still felt further refinement was required. Below, in Figure 9, is the JMB trust network.

Figure 9: JMB Trust Network 16 Active Components [NetDraw]

The JMB Trust Network consists of 76 out of 172 actors in the JMB Combined Network resulting in 16 active components and an inactive component of 96 isolates.

Ian Davis and Carrie Worth DA4600, Prof. Everton, Final Project Further analysis of the Trust Network based on the current status revealed that of the 76 actors, one was dead (Black Circle), 53 are in jail (Amber circle in a box), and 22 are free and alive (Red Diamond with labels).

Figure 10: JMB Network Current Status [NetDraw]

Further refinement of the JMB Trust Network focused on the Main component consisting of 34 actors, 26 in jail, and eight that are free and alive. Because actors in jail still communicate and have influence even though they are in jail, we decided to leverage them for their ability to act as channels for deception to cause fracturing of the trust network. Furthermore, actors in jail will have increased prestige once released from jail and will have an expanded network based on relationships developed while in captivity.

Ian Davis and Carrie Worth DA4600, Prof. Everton, Final Project

Figure 11: JMB Trust Network Main Component with Current Status [NetDraw]

To determine our strategy to fragment the trust network, we used KeyPlayer 1.45. The purpose of the KeyPlayer program is to identify optimum sets of nodes to target for either removal or observation/intervention in a given network. You tell the program how many nodes you want to observe or delete, and it uses a combinatorial optimization algorithm to find the best combination. First, we used the KKP-1 Algorithm to select the top five nodes to remove based on the optimum fragmentation of the network. The analysis revealed the key players to remove from the network are Akram Al Islam, Mohammad YunusMiah, Mushtaq Sheikh,

Ian Davis and Carrie Worth DA4600, Prof. Everton, Final Project ObaidurRahmanIbniFazle, and Selim. Removal of the actors will yield a fragment the network 93.4 percent. Next, we used the KKP-2 algorithm to identify which nodes to use as channels to insert information into the network targeted to dissolve the trust of the targeted actors from the other actors in the trust network. The analysis revealed that the key actors to serve as channels for information are: Akram Al Islam, MdMomtaz, Mohammed YunusMiah, and Wahed Ali. Two Players are channels and/or targets :Akram Al Islam and Mohammed Yunis Mia, while MdMomtaz and Wahed Ali are key channels. The significance of this is that the synchronization of the release of messages is critical to ensure that Akram Al Islam and Mohammed YunusMia have the ability to insert their message into the trust network before they are cut off. Furthermore, MdMomtaz and Wahed Ali will remain in the network after the key targets are removed and can still act as channels for information.

Figure 12: Key Player 1.45 Output

The table below depicts the ranking of the top 10 actors in the Trust Network based on normalized centrality measures and inverse constraint (brokerage ability). The top 5 Key Players for removal in JMB Main Trust Network are in Teal. The top 4 Key Players for Deception

Ian Davis and Carrie Worth DA4600, Prof. Everton, Final Project Channels in JMB Main Trust Network are in Green. The two players identified as channels and/or targets: Akram Al Islam and Mohammed YunisMia are in Purple.

RANK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

nDegree
MD Tufan Obaidur Rahman Ibni Fazle Abdul Samad Salafi Akram Al Islam Jahangir Liton Mushtaq Sheikh Ershad L.N.U. Mohammad Yunus Miah Selim Zahirul Islam

nCloseness
MD Tufan Jahangir Liton Abdul Samad Salafi Mushtaq Sheikh F.N.U. Shahidullah Zahirul Islam Selim Ashraf Obaidur Rahman Ibni Fazle Wajed Ali

nBetweenness
Jahangir Liton Obaidur Rahman Ibni F.N.U. Fazle Shahidullah MD Tufan Selim Akram Al Islam Ashraf Mohammad Yunus Miah Mushtaq Sheikh Md Momtaz

nEiganvector
MD Tufan Abdul Samad Salafi Mushtaq Sheikh Jahangir Liton Zahirul Islam Selim Ashraf Wajed Ali F.N.U. Shahidullah Md Momtaz

InvConstraint
Mohammad Yunus Miah Ershad L.N.U. Akram Al Islam Selim Wajed Ali Obaidur Rahman Ibni Fazle MD Tufan Mushtaq Sheikh Jahangir Liton Ashraf

Target

Target and Channel

Channel

Top Targets by Centrality Measures

Table 2: Centrality and Brokerage Rankings among 10 Top Trust Network Actors

An interesting finding is that the top five actors KeyPlayer identified for removal from the network do not have the highest rankings in Centrality measures calculated in UCINET. Based on standard centrality measures, MD Tufan and Jahangir Liton should be at the top of any targeting strategy. The significance of them not being actors to target for network fragmentation is an indicator that the targeting of terrorist leadership does not necessarily lead to effectively disrupting the network.

Ian Davis and Carrie Worth DA4600, Prof. Everton, Final Project

Traditional Key Leader Targets

Figure 13: JMB Trust Network Main Component Comparison [NetDraw]

The deception plan will be operationalized through the use of a whisper campaign (through cyber chatter, blogging, word of mouth, or intercepted letters) to discredit the key players. Below are the messages we would inject into the network for dissemination: Akram Al Islam: - ObaidurRahmanIbniFazle is providing information on DelwarHossain and Zahirul Islam - Selim is providing information on Mohammad YunusMiah and Ashraf - Mushtaq Sheikh provided information on Zahirul Islam - Mohammad YunusMiah embezzled money and is giving information to the police about the location of Shahidul, Ashraf, and Zahirul Islam Mohammad YunusMiah: - ObaidurRahmanIbniFazle is providing information on DelwarHossain and Zahirul Islam - Selim is providing information on Mohammad YunusMiah and Ashraf - Mushtaq Sheikh provided information on Zahirul Islam - Akram Al Islam is providing information on Saidul Islam, Jahangir Alam, and Yaad Ali MdMomtaz:

Ian Davis and Carrie Worth DA4600, Prof. Everton, Final Project ObaidurRahmanIbniFazle is providing information on DelwarHossain and Zahirul Islam - Mushtaq Sheikh provided information on Zahirul Islam - Mohammad YunusMiah embezzled money and is giving information to the police about the location of Shahidul, Ashraf, and Zahirul Islam - Akram Al Islam is providing information on Saidul Islam, Jahangir Alam, and Yaad Ali Wajed Ali: - ObaidurRahmanIbniFazle is providing information on DelwarHossain and Zahirul Islam - Selim is providing information on Mohammad YunusMiah and Ashraf - Akram Al Islam is providing information on Saidul Islam, Jahangir Alam, and Yaad Ali - Mohammad YunusMiah embezzled money and is giving information to the police about the location of Shahidul, Ashraf, and Zahirul Islam As the messages filter through the network and discredit those ³targeted´, the remaining network players will feel betrayed and may begin to distrust others within the network. The result of eliminating the key actors,as identified by KPP 1.45, from the network is shown in figure 14. In addition to the five actors removed, an additional five actors became isolates in the trust network. -

Ian Davis and Carrie Worth DA4600, Prof. Everton, Final Project

Figure 14: Fragmentation of JMB Trust Network Main Component [NetDraw]

F. CONCLUSION By determining the key actors in the main component of the Trust Network and targeting them with an effective disinformation campaign, we can fracture the entire JMB Network. When we first ran centrality measures in UCINET, sixteen individuals were identified s targets for removal to disrupt and fracture the network. However, once we ran Key Player, the top five actors identified for removal did not have the highest rankings in centrality measures. This signifies that targeting terrorist leadership is not necessarily the most effective way to disrupt a network. Targeting traditional key leadership targets (see Figure 13) would result in a less significant fragmentation of the network. There would still be large viable sections of the Trust Network remaining. By targeting the reputation and trustworthiness of the five key players

Ian Davis and Carrie Worth DA4600, Prof. Everton, Final Project identified, we disrupt key communications and destroy the trustworthiness of the network. In our above plan, the players targeted will be linked to the intercepted message traffic and as the information flows through the network, that individual will be discredited. With the authority of the key players affected, the network consequently fragments. Ultimately, regular targeting does not work as well as influencing someone in the network in order to sow the seeds of distrust. In addition to being more affective than traditional key leader targeting, the use of a deception campaign is a lower visibility, lower cost, and more powerful method for network disruption. By simply creating the perception of betrayal and sowing the seeds of distrust, we can effectively fragment a network without requiring a costly kinetic option.

Ian Davis and Carrie Worth DA4600, Prof. Everton, Final Project BIBLIOGRAPHY International Crisis Group. (2010). The Threat From Jamaatul-Mujahideen Bangladesh.Asia Report #187. International Crisis Group, Brussels, Belgium. Institute for the Study of Violent Groups. (2009). Jamaat-ul-Mujahidin Bangladesh ± ISVG Wiki. Retrieved online https://wiki.isvg.org on October 22, 2009. Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (2006). IPCS Special Report 11 ± Jama¶atulMujahideen Bangladesh (JMB): A Profile. IPCS Special Reports. Retrieved online http://www.ipcs.org on October 22, 2009. Krebs, Valdis. (2002). ³Mapping Networks of Terrorist Cells.´ Connections. Vol 24(3), pp. 4352. Raab, Jorg, and H. Brinton Milward. (2003). ³Dark Networks as Problems.´ Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 413-439. Roberts, Nancy, and Sean F. Everton. (2009). "Strategies for Combating Dark Networks." Paper presented at Sunbelt XXIX: Annual Meeting of the International Network of Social Network Analysts, San Diego, CA. South Asia Terrorism Portal (2009).Jama¶atulMujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). Retrieved online http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/bangladesh/terroristoutfits/JMB.htm on October 30, 2009. Staff Correspondent (no year).JMB Chief¶s Wife Held.The Daily Star: Internet Edition. Retrieved online http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=112355 on November 2, 2009. Staff Correspondent (no year). RAB Captures six JMB Operatives. The Daily Star: Internet Edition. Retrieved online http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=111476 pm September 27, 2009.

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