Posts Tagged boston bombing

Analyzing Breaking Events

By Scott Stewart

In last week’s Security Weekly, Tristan Reed and I provided a little bit of an “inside baseball” look at how we analyze the transnational criminal cartels in Mexico. We tried to explain some of the challenges that analysts face while analyzing a human network — Los Zetas in this instance — that is by its very nature a criminal and clandestine organization.

But cutting through the misinformation and disinformation surrounding murky human networks is not the only difficult task Stratfor analysts are faced with. Indeed, perhaps one of the most difficult things we are asked to do is untangle, decipher and contextualize breaking events for our readers and custom intelligence clients. Sometimes we are able to do so pretty well — a rapid reaction piece I wrote on Sept. 14, 2012, “Understanding What Went Wrong in Benghazi,” continues to be a highly read analysis. But on occasion, we’ve even fallen into the trap set by erroneous reporting. For example, our very first analysis on the attack in Benghazi incorrectly stated that the casualties were caused by rocket-propelled grenade attacks on the motorcade leaving the compound and that the incident was the result of violent protests over a derogatory movie about the Prophet Mohammed instead of a calculated assault by a well-trained and heavily armed militia. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

Why the Boston Bombers Succeeded

Why the Boston Bombers Succeeded is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By Scott Stewart
Vice President of Analysis

When seeking to place an attack like the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing into context, it is helpful to classify the actors responsible, if possible. Such a classification can help us understand how an attack fits into the analytical narrative of what is happening and what is likely to come. These classifications will consider factors such as ideology, state sponsorship and perhaps most important, the kind of operative involved.

In a case where we are dealing with an apparent jihadist operative, before we can classify him or her we must first have a clear taxonomy of the jihadist movement. At Stratfor, we generally consider the jihadist movement to be divided into three basic elements: the al Qaeda core organization, the regional jihadist franchises, such as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and grassroots operatives who are radicalized, inspired and perhaps equipped by the other two tiers but who are not members of either. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , ,

No Comments