The growing complexity of terrorist networks

By Laurie Bennett

June 6, 2014 at 9:10am

Terrorism is decentralizing and diversifying, according to a new report from Rand.

Author Seth Jones urges the U.S. to maintain a focus on North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.

His research centered on the growth of Salafi-jihadist groups - those dedicated to violent jihad and a return to “pure” Islam.

“There was a 58-percent increase in the number of Salafi-jihadist groups from 2010 to 2013,” Jones writes. “Libya represents the most active sanctuary for Salafi-jihadist groups in North Africa, and Syria the most significant safe haven for groups in the Levant.”

Core Al-Qaeda and affiliates

Core Al-Qaeda and affiliates, Rand, June 2014

Organizations often have different objectives and different geographies.

One reason for their increase is the spread of militant networks. Operatives train or fight in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, then transfer those experiences to other countries.

In essence, personal relations supplant more formal organizational ties.

Although links among terrorist groups are many, they no longer operate as a hierarchy headed by core Al-Qaeda. The interactive Muckety map above shows the interconnections and some of the major terrorist acts committed by these groups.

The chart below, prepared by Rand, shows the growth in the number of organizations between 1988 and 2013.

Growth in Salafi-Jihadist Groups

Growth in Salafi-Jihadist Groups, Rand, June 2014

Follow Muckety on Twitter Tweet This! Share on Facebook

Click here to sign up for the Muckety Newsletter

This post is tagged with: , ,
 Read related stories: Recent Stories · Terrorism · Think tanks  


  • There are no comments yet, be the first by filling in the form below.

Leave a Comment

The relationship map to the left is interactive.
• Solid lines are current relations. Dotted lines are former relations.
• Expand items with + signs by double-clicking or by selecting multiple items in the map and pressing the "e" key.
• Move an item in the map by clicking and dragging.
• You can also delete items, separate boxes and save maps. Right-click on the map or select Map Tools for these options.
• Find out more about an item in the map by right-clicking on the item and choosing Information about...
• View map color key.
• This interactive map requires Flash player.

Become a fan of Muckety on Facebook

  • Search for stories
    Special Features

Follow Muckety on Twitter Follow Muckety on Twitter
Muckety has no direct connection to most of the people or organizations listed on these pages.
We are unable to forward personal messages or provide personal contact information.
We make every effort at Muckety to ensure that our data is correct and timely. However, relationships are in constant flux and we cannot guarantee accuracy. If you come across incorrect or outdated information, please let us know by email.
© 2017 Muckety LLC