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Mapping and Deterring Violent Extremist Networks in North-West Africa

By  Olivier J. Walther and Christian Leuprecht
April 8, 2020

Mapping and Deterring Violent Extremist Networks in North-West Africa

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Mapping and Deterring Violent Extremist Networks in North-West Africa

violent extremist organizations, terrorism, borders, social networks, Africa, Sahel, Sahara

This article examines the structural and spatial organization of violent extremist organizations (VEOs) across the Sahara. Building on the Armed Conflict Location and Event Dataset (ACLED), a public collection of political violence data for developing states, the article investigates structural connections of VEOs and the effect of borders on the spatial patterns of armed groups. Social network analysis reveals that the network involving VEOs had a low density, a low level of transitivity, and contained few central actors, three typical characteristics of negative-tie networks.