The Future of Al Qaeda and Associated Movements (AQAM)

The AQAM Futures Project is a joint study undertaken by the CSIS Transnational Threats Project and the CSIS Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program. The initiative produced a series of “alternative futures” regarding the state of al Qaeda and Associated Movements in the year 2025 and generate recommendations to defeat the threat over the long term. Drawing on historical analysis, social science research, expert interviews, and targeted fieldwork, this effort will provide policymakers and strategists a vision beyond the next few years and consider the trends and shocks that may shape AQAM over the next decade and a half.

Interim deliverables included this assessment, a podcast series providing updates on the project, insights from the field, and other relevant content. The study culminated in a final report September 7 2011 during a capstone conference, The Evolving Terrorist Threat and the Importance of Intelligence to Protect the Homeland, examining the evolving AQAM threat and ongoing efforts to defeat it.

A distinguished group of former counterterrorism practitioners and experts serve on the project’s Senior Advisory Group (SAG). Led by Juan Zarate, former deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism, the SAG provides guidance and substantive input to the research team. Arnaud de Borchgrave, director of the CSIS Transnational Threats Project, serves as senior adviser to the study.

This project is codirected by Rick “Ozzie” Nelson, director of the CSIS Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program, and Thomas M. Sanderson, deputy director of the CSIS Transnational Threats Project.

The U.S. Department of Defense and the National Security Coordination Secretariat of Singapore are the primary supporters of this effort.

Recent Events