Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Countering Terror Cells: Offence versus Defence

Bhan, Aditya and Kabiraj, Tarun (2018): Countering Terror Cells: Offence versus Defence.

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The analysis provides insights regarding the suitability of offensive versus defensive measures in countering a terror cell. It is shown that the optimal allocation is more offensive when the cell is aware of which targets have been protected, but unable to distinguish between the values of different targets; than the case where it can neither distinguish between target values nor is the protection conspicuous. Also, the ability of the terror cell to inflict damage is least when it can neither distinguish between target values nor is the target protection conspicuous, and most when it can observe both target values and protection. Hence, from the counter-terrorism (CT) point of view, there seems to be a rationale in making target values and target protection inconspicuous to the extent possible. The paper finally deals with the possibility of diverging target valuations from the CT standpoint and that of the terror cell, and shows that if target protection is conspicuous to the cell and these are common knowledge, then the optimal CT allocation is at least as offensive as the case with identical valuation rankings.

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