Improvised Explosive Device detection through statistical analysis

Topic: Improvised Explosive Device detection through statistical analysis
1. Research Question(s): What is/are your proposed research question(s)? Note: Please only state ONE or TWO research questions. These should not be questions to which there is only one answer (such as “yes” or “no”).
What is the frequency of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) detonations in Shia, Sunni, and Christian enclaves in the city of Baghdad?
How is the timing of vehicle bourne IEDs (VBIEDs) detonations related to those neighborhoods?
2. Rationale (Please limit to 250 words): Describe the importance of your research question(s) supported by current literature. What implications will the results have for your practice and/or the health of society in general?
The purpose of this paper is to examine the frequency of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks in Baghdad and to correlate those areas in which they are detonated as primarily Shiite, Sunni, or Christian enclaves of Baghdad.
The term IED, is now part of our lexicon. It is the signature device of terrorist groups used for fomenting division, terror, and destruction in Iraq. It is the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) of Iraq. Bombings are a daily occurrence in Baghdad. Every bombing is investigated to some extent to include location, type of device, number killed, and injured.
In order to understand and ultimately attempt to thwart the use of IEDs, it is important to understand the characteristics of bomb makers, planters, suppliers, initiators, those who warehouse the material and the correlation of the neighborhood in which they detonated. A study by conducted by Paulo Shakarian, V.S. Subrahmanian, and Maria Luisa Sapino (2009) described a statistical method by which they could predict where the most likely safe houses were to produce and warehouse IEDs. Their study focused on Iranian terror groups known as Quds; Jaysh al-Madhi (JAM), or the Mahdi army. The U.S. government has invested millions of dollars in means and methods to detect, disrupt, and destroy bomb makers, factories, terrorists, and preemptively locate and destroy IEDs.
Why is this subject important? We must find better methods to protect our citizens against these weapons. Research, vigilance, and innovation are major aspects in the search to prevent and interdict this destructive component of terrorism.
3. Study Design: What type of design do you propose to address your research question (e.g., correlation, quasi-experimental, case study, etc.)? For a list of study designs approved for the ARP, please refer to the Applied Research Project guide.
The Study design is Quantitative correlative. It will be conducted using data taken from daily open source security reports to produce information about frequency and specific areas of IED attacks in Baghdad, Iraq.
Baghdad has 11 sections that are divided into religious sects that reside within them. Open source information will be turned into numbers for statistical analysis using Chi Square distribution. The null hypothesis is that the majority of IEDs are placed in Shiite areas. The method of developing the frequency of use will be based on attack reports. For example, Shiite neighborhoods will have a one (1) value, Sunni (2) and Christian enclaves (3) values. For each attack with an IED, that point will be plotted on a map and the corresponding value will be added to those neighborhoods via a statistical tool (Excel). The time of day or night can be added into the information to provide an additional component. The numbers for the given period of time will be added into the statistics program.
The evolution of IED campaigns and the relationships to sectarian neighborhoods can be visually displayed graphically. The statistical analysis program SPSS can produce data that will help correlate frequency of attacks and will help show patterns related to frequency of areas that are common targets. With this information, in concert with other means and methods, can add to the arsenal of recommended preventative actions by authorities. The period to be surveyed will be 01 January 2014 to 01 August 2014.
4. Source of Study Participants or Secondary Data: From where will you recruit study participants? What challenges or barriers do you anticipate?
If you plan to use existing secondary data, discuss the steps involved in accessing the data. Will you need any specific computer program(s) to download the data?
This data is stored and disseminated in Daily Threat Assessments and sent as an email attachment to security companies working in Iraq. The attachment lists all neighborhoods not only in Baghdad but throughout the rest of the country and describes type of attack, location, time and numbers of individuals injured, killed, or kidnapped. The information is open source and there is no security requirement regarding the information. The statistical program to be used for analysis will be SPSS.