Georgia Institute of Technology - Jigsaw

VAST 2010 Challenge
Text Records - Investigations into Arms Dealing

Authors and Affiliations:

      Zhicheng Liu, Georgia Tech,  [PRIMARY contact]
      Jaegul Choo, Georgia Tech,

Carsten Görg, Georgia Tech,

Jaeyeon Kihm, Georgia Tech,

Hanseung Lee, Georgia Tech,

Haesun Park, Georgia Tech, [Faculty advisor],

John Stasko, Georgia Tech, [Faculty advisor],


We used Jigsaw, the visual analytics system we developed at Georgia Tech for solving this min challenge. This version of Jigsaw has new computational analysis capabilities in addition to the features described in our 2007 VAST and 2008 IV journal publications.








MC1.1: Summarize the activities that happened in each country with respect to illegal arms deals based on a synthesis of the information from the different report types and sources.  State the situation in each country at the end of the period (i.e. the end of the information you have been given) with respect to illegal arms deals being pursued.  Present a hypothesis about the next activities you expect to take place, with respect to the people, groups, and countries. 


In Karachi, Pakistan, Maulana Haq Bukhari and Bhutani, leaders of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, together with their group members, met frequently. Bukhari transferred 1325548 Saudi riyal to a Saudi bank account on Nov 17th, 08 and transferred 1571649 Pakistani currency to a Pakistani bank account. Bhutani, Mengal and Nausherwani are traveling from Lahore to Dubai on Apr 18th and returning on Apr 20th. Basra, who is Bukhari’s driver, also reserved three Emirates Airline round-trip tickets between Karachi and Dubai, leaving on Apr 18th and returning Apr 20th.


In Gaza, Muhammad Kasem, leader of Martyrs Front of Judea, together with Mohammed Anka and Abdullah Khouri worked on purchasing arms from people from the Russian military. They decided to bring cash with them for the purchase. On Sep 18th, 2008, Kasem bought a used Peugeot and Kasem talked to Khouri about traveling in the car to Dubai to meet the seller. They planned to travel with Anka. On March 3rd, 2009, however, the car was stolen. They finally decided to fly from Rafic Hariri International Airport in Lebanon.


In Kenya, Thabiti Otieno and his wife Nahid Owiti were arrested and detained for illegally possessing and smuggling government ammunition in Oct, 2008. The ammunition included 100,000 bullets, six guns and military ware. They were soon released on bail and acquitted in Jan, 2009. They communicated with someone from Moscow (whom we suspect is Dombrovski) and were going to meet Nicholai Kuryakin in Dubai on Apr 17th. They died on May 1st in Nairobi, Kenya.


In Yemen, gun dealer Saleh Ahmad has been supporting the rebels in the Sa’ada province in Yemen and exporting guns to Saudi Arabia. He seems to work with Aden as-Sallal, who runs KNA general trading company in Sana’a Yemen, and Haik Hosain, who was suspected of arms dealing in Saudi. Saleh Ahmed is going for a meeting at the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai on Apr 19th, 2009.


In Thailand, an Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft carrying 35 tons of weapons including rockets, rocket launchers, fuses and rocket-propelled grenades was seized in Bangkok.  The crew included four Ukrainians and one Belarusian. According to the Thailand government, the weapons came from North Korea. The flight path, according to the pilot, was from Kiev to Bangkok, then to Colombo, Sri Lanka, the UAE and finally to Kiev where the cargo was to be delivered. It is also strange that the crew stayed in a hotel accompanied by Thai bodyguards on Feb 11th, 08. The plane is connected to a Ukrainian businessman named Arkadi Borodinski. He has contact with Boonmee Khemkhaeng.


A cargo ship MV Tanya was captured by Somalia pirates in Oct, 2008. The ship is from Ukraine and carries rocket launcher vehicles and other military supplies. It was heading towards Mombasa, Kenya. After the pirates received the ransom and released the ship in March, 2009, the ship changed the destination to Sudan.


In Turkey, “Celik” acts as the liaison in coordinating purchases of “textbooks” and “farm equipments”. 120,000 lira is spent on the “textbooks”, which are for people in Aleppo, Syria (with names/aliases Baltasar, Adad and Ashur). “Celik” is buying “farm equipment” by contacting a person in Sarajevo, Bosnia, the eventual deal is to be made in Dubai. The “farm equipment” includes 35 green tractors, 90 of type 40 and type 105 each, 10 137s and 10 cases of M types. “Celik”’s co-worker Hakan, is in charge of getting the money ready. Celik, Hakan and Kaya are going to Dubai on Apr 18th, and Hakan is the one who is going to withdraw the money in Dubai.


In Virginia, USA, Tolah “John” Raleigh was trying to sell Swiss-made machine pistols and other weapons to Aden as-Sallal.


In Moscow, Russia, Mikhail Dombrovski is trading with Dr. George Ngoki in Lagos, Nigeria.




MC1.2:  Illustrate the associations among the players in the arms dealing through a social network.  If there are linkages among countries, please highlight these as well in the social network.  Our analysts are interested in seeing different views of the social network that might help them in counterintelligence activities (people, places, activities, communication patterns that are key to the network).


Figure 1


Figure 1 shows important people and locations in this data set. Green nodes represent locations and red nodes represent people. A person is connected to a location if he/she is based in that location. Two persons are connected in various ways, and the semantics of the connection is labeled on the link.


Figure 2


Figure 2 shows patterns of people meeting in Dubai and specifically meeting Nicolai Kuryakin based on evidence in the data set. Multiple groups of people are meeting in Dubai in the period between Apr 17th and Apr 20th 2009. Arm dealer Nicolai Kuryakin is in Dubai at that time too and it seems many people are meeting him, although only Otieno, Owiti and Ahmed can be confirmed.



Figure 3


Figure 3 shows bank fund transfer patterns in the data set. Gray nodes are bank accounts with their locations identified. Only one bank account’s owner is identified: Bukhari. If account A appears below account B and they are connected, there is a fund transfer from A to B with the date and amount labeled. Two accounts, CH51 and MOSWEUMM appear as duplicate nodes in order to show the flow of funds and the temporal pattern more clearly.

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