This installment of Praescient’s Data Points Podcast features Katherine Zimmerman, a Research Fellow and al Qaeda and Associated Movements Team Lead for the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats project. Katherine’s work focuses on al Qaeda’s affiliates and associated movements in the Gulf of Aden, western and northern Africa, and the greater Middle East. Katherine has authored pieces for the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, CNN Global Public Square, the Huffington Post, and has testified before Congress.
In this podcast, Praescient’s Strategic Partnerships Lead, Brett McCrae, and Katherine discuss current U.S. counterterrorism strategy, the development of new al Qaeda affiliates and associates, what consequences may arise for the U.S. due to al Qaeda’s rapidly growing organizational structure, and how analytical tools are assisting in the discovery of al Qaeda networks, its affiliates, and associates. Katherine stresses that a change in our country’s counterterrorism strategy is pertinent if we intend to stop al Qaeda’s expansion. She points to the ease in transition, and overall growth of al Qaeda as a clear indication that our focus is far too central on al Qaeda’s “core group” in Pakistan. With the resurgence of ISIS in Iraq, Katherine’s insight and recommendations for U.S. counter-terrorism policy are more relevant than ever.
Katherine points out how dangerous the affiliate and associate groups truly are to U.S. security, and the importance of identifying and understanding these groups. In her conversation with Brett, Katherine expounds on the role advanced analytic software tools can play in the counterterrorism space. Listen to Katherine’s engaging insight on this topic, and stay tuned for the next installment of Praescient’s Data Points Podcast.
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Thanks to Jacob Lail, an intern at Praescient Analytics, for his work on this podcast.
To read the full AEI report, follow this link:
The al Qaeda Network: A New Framework for Defining the Enemy
Theme song: Undone (Jahzzar) / CC BY-SA 3.0