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Interactive Map: Al Qaeda After Osama bin Laden By the Numbers
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Interactive Map: Al Qaeda After Osama bin Laden By the Numbers

Network Not as Deadly a Year Later

Ken Sofer shows that the terrorist organization is significantly weaker a year after its leader’s death.

People look at a display of newspaper front pages at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on May 2, 2011, the day after Osama bin Laden was killed. (AP/ Jacquelyn Martin)
People look at a display of newspaper front pages at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on May 2, 2011, the day after Osama bin Laden was killed. (AP/ Jacquelyn Martin)

Osama bin Laden’s death a year ago marked a major achievement for the U.S. intelligence community and a critical blow to the Al Qaeda terrorist network. But the SEAL Team Six raid on bin Laden’s Abbottabad, Pakistan compound on May 2, 2011 was only the largest in a long string of losses Al Qaeda has suffered over the past three years which have put the organization on a path to strategic defeat. The trove of data collected from the raid has quickened the pace of Al Qaeda’s collapse, helping U.S. counterterrorism officials better target senior Al Qaeda leadership and disrupt more terror plots.

The numbers show that while Al Qaeda remains a significant national security threat, its ability to successfully commit acts of terror has diminished since Osama bin Laden’s death last year. (All numbers from the National Counterterrorism Center’s Worldwide Incidents Tracking System.)

16 percent: The percentage drop in successful attacks by the Al Qaeda network in the year following bin Laden’s death compared to the year before.

65 percent: The percentage drop in successful attacks by the Al Qaeda network outside of Africa in the year following bin Laden’s death compared to the year before.

35 percent: The percentage drop in casualties caused by the Al Qaeda network in the year following bin Laden’s death compared to the year before.

81: The number of successful attacks by the Al Qaeda network in Pakistan since bin Laden’s death, down from 159 the year before.

22: The number of Al Qaeda network senior-level operatives and leaders captured or killed since May 2011.

0: The number of successful attacks by the Al Qaeda network in the United States since bin Laden’s death.

The map below shows the number and location of Al Qaeda attacks before and after bin Laden’s death as well as the Al Qaeda leaders killed or captured since May 2011.

For more on the evolution of the Al Qaeda network since Osama bin Laden’s death, please see:

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Authors

Ken Sofer

Senior Policy Adviser

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