Map of Al Qaeda’s global network

Al Qaeda’s global network of alliances and proxies

From Max Fisher, Washington Post:  The map tells two big, important stories: First, there’s al-Qaeda’s global decline, apparently accelerated by an aggressive U.S.-led campaign against them and by popular Muslim-world repudiation of the group’s violence. Second, the map shows the terrorist group’s ability to still build connections in new regions. That doesn’t contradict the larger narrative of decline, but it is an important reminder of al-Qaeda’s persistence and its knack for exploiting turmoil in a part of the world that has plenty of it.

Here’s the capsule information on the areas that show the group’s rising influence: Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the West African branch, took that name in 2007 and has its roots in local conflicts; it’s still not clear how highly it prioritizes al-Qaeda’s global mission. In Syria, some rebel groups are thought to be exchanging messages with tribal areas of Pakistan where the al-Qaeda central leadership is thought to be hiding out. As the conflict wears on, extremists within the rebellion seem to be rising.  (graphic: Washington Post)

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