Data: 200+ IP addresses collected from a number of the more prominent forums, more or less in order of their current ranking.
Collection Period: 48 hours this Spring.
Proxy use: Great care was taken to account for proxy server use. It is not possible to determine if the 16% of the population observed using proxy servers are distributed across the various countries, or if they are concentrated in just a few - I would wager it is the former (that they are generally distributed). Experience suggests that most jihadis most of the time don't use proxy servers, with the possible exception of the more paranoid site administrators (for whom such protective measures are likely too little and too late - you're going to jail or you're going to work for the mukhabarat).
Intelligence services and contractors: The USA and Israel are over-represented as a result of these folks not using proxy servers (yeah I know, *you* use a proxy server, so it must be that other agency that doesn't).
Germany: Even after removing all those Tor nodes Germany still has quite the population of jihadis (or the intelligence services and allied researchers are like their American and Israeli counterparts).
Gaza: Almost all the Palestinian IPs trace to Gaza. Multiple factors are in play here, not least of which being disappointment with Hamas and disenchantment with the national project. There isn't much opportunity to wage jihad in Gaza, however, so look for these guys to try and head elsewhere.
The Levant: There has been a significant increase in the percentage of Levantine jihadis on the forums (as compared to the other regions). This can be explained by the increase in jihadis in Gaza, and also by an apparent decrease in the percentage of jihadis in Europe and the Arabian Peninsula.
Egypt, the Maghreb, and the Americas: The situation is largely unchanged compared to previous collections of IP addresses. While there has been an increase in the number of jihadis in the USA, they are found almost exclusively on English-language sites, so they don't appear here.
Yemen: Where are the Yemenis? There was a time when you could expect 5% of all jihadis on Arabic forums to be in Yemen. Has the fear of Hellfire missiles gotten to them? Have they all left for Somalia? Are they all using proxy servers? Stay tuned...
Europe and the Arabian Peninsula: As noted above, the number of jihadis in these two areas, while still in proportion to each other, appear to have decreased. Why? I imagine there are multiple explanations - they've gone elsewhere, they're under arrest, deradicalization programs work, etc. I wouldn't break out the celebratory beverages just yet, however, as the remaining jihadis are probably more violence-prone (it's the nature of such things - as the risk-averse drop out the remainder are by definition a greater threat).
Also-rans: Bahrain, Switzerland, France, Netherlands, Oman, and Turkey each contributed 0.92% of the jihadis observed. Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Iran, Latvia, Norway, Pakistan, Sudan, Slovenia, Senigal, and Somalia each contributed 0.46%.
Speculation: I can compare this data with previous collections, but when it comes to understanding the present or seeing into the future, the comments above should be seen for what they are - well-informed speculation, at best.Posted on 13 April 2010 @ 23:01