Analysis of more than 45 al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) messages in 2013 against the reported August 2013 threat against Western targets indicates the US is the number one target of interest for AQAP with France in second. This does not mean other Western countries would not be considered but rather sheds light on what AQAP has spent the most time and energy publicly discussing and building a case for.
AQAP's messaging focus provides insights into where its operational focus is now and where it is headed. This map plots the volume of significant references to a country in AQAP messages to include audio, video, written statements, magazines and press comments. These references may refer to the physical country itself or that country’s interests around the world. The darker the color, the greater the references. The greater the references, the greater the likelihood AQAP is either already operationally active there or in the early stages of stepping up activity there or against that country’s interests elsewhere. You can click on each country in the map to see a pop-up window with the number of AQAP messages with significant references to it.
The greatest focus of AQAP’s messaging in 2013 as of 4 Aug. is the US by far. Yemen comes in second with France in third. Mali is fourth. Saudi Arabia tied with the UK for fifth, however, the references to Saudi Arabia are more significant then those for the UK.
This map will be updated as new AQAP 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 AQAP’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. Messages include audio, video, written statements, magazines and press comments. More than 45 AQAP messages were reviewed for this report.
The full ArcGIS version of this map is available to subscribers of the IntelCenter Database (ICD) in the Geospatial Component.
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