Even before the Paris terrorist attacks a researcher at the University of South Carolina was developing new ways to identify covert social networks or terrorist organizations preparing attacks.
Matthew Brashears told South Carolina Radio Network that they take a sociological approach. “You’re trying to identify a very small number of people that have some type of nefarious intent who are mixed in a very, very, very large population of people, who are going to be engaging in a lot of similar kinds of activity. And that’s a difficult kind of problem,” Brashears said.
Brashears said it’s more of a mathematical and logical use of procedures as opposed to processing data on terrorists. “The project we’re working on, the goal of it is to find ways of uncovering terrorist networks that are preparing what are called CBRN attacks. Now CBRN is an acronym standing for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear,” said Brashears.
He said they concentrate on people who could make a CBRN and the organizations that would want to use them. “The method we’re working on really focuses on effectively identifying individuals who have the knowledge necessary to produce a device and using them as a sort of point of contact with a terrorist network,” Brashears said.