In order to under better understand where al-Qaeda’s operational focus is, it is important to first understand what al-Qaeda is talking about and to who. This map is one important part of that puzzle. It plots the volume of significant references in al-Qaeda audio/video messaging by country. The darker the color, the greater the references. The greater the references, the greater the likelihood al-Qaeda is either already operationally active there or in the early stages of stepping up activity either directly or through affiliates and regional arms. Al-Qaeda’s targeting priorities have also historically tracked with its messaging focus. You can click on each country in the map to see a pop-up window with the number of al-Qaeda messages with significant references to it.
The greatest focus of al-Qaeda’s messaging in 2013 as of 9 Jul. is Pakistan by far. India comes in a distant second and Syria and Afghanistan are tied for third. Bangladesh is the most significant new addition and of growing concern as a general uptick in jihadi activity across a number of indicators is occurring there. There is also concern that al-Qaeda’s focus on India further reinforces other indicators that jihadi resources are being shifted from a slowing campaign in Afghanistan to India. Many of these references are not only about the country in question but also direct addresses to people in those countries.
This map will be updated as new al-Qaeda releases are made and as additional details on previous releases come to light.
An individual message may be scored for multiple countries but not all messages are counted. For example, a general message about a jihadist teaching without reference to a country or country-specific issue would not be counted. References may be small or large but must be significant in the context of al-Qaeda’s messaging history and patterns. Not all country references are scored. A story told about a historical event in a particular country to illustrate a point would most likely not be counted
The full ArcGIS version of this map is available to subscribers of the IntelCenter Database (ICD) in the Geospatial Component.
View map of Al-Queda intel here..........