The Analysis Intelligence site provides open source analysis and information on a variety of topics based on the the temporal analytic technology and intelligence analysis tools of Recorded Future. Shortly after the release of 175 pages of documents from the Combatting Terrorism Center (CTC) a very interesting assessment was posted on the site. This assessment sheds light on the nature of these documents and also highlights some of the important context that the powerful capabilities of Recorded Future can provide.
The analysis by Recorded Future is succinct and well done so I cite most of it below. I’ll conclude with some of my own thoughts as an experienced intelligence professional and technologist on some of the “So What” of this assessment.
First, from the Analysis Intelligence site:
The Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) released 17 new letters (175 pages) discovered in the Abbottabad compound where Osama bin Laden was discovered and killed last year. The documents were made available as part of a report entitled “Letters from Abbottabad: Bin Ladin Sidelined?”
This post shows analysis of all 17 letters using Recorded Future’s temporal analytic technology and intelligence analysis tools. This first effort analyzes the English translated text and will be followed by an analysis of the letters in their original Arabic.
We treated these letters like they were any other source in the Recorded Future system. Our linguistic algorithms extracted a variety of data points available in the text that we then visualized in the Recorded Future user interface
Analyzing these documents in aggregate and visualizing them using Recorded Future immediately reveals a number of patterns and insights. We’ll start with a network graph generated from the connections found in the body of letters where it’s clear to see the focal points of God, Yemen, and Afghanistan:
Seeing the locations described in the network, we can actually uncover what locations are mentioned the most:
Shifting back to a network view, let’s find what individuals are associated with Iran in the collected letters:
And to serve as a comparison, below are those relations referenced with Yemen:
Moving to a timeline analysis of the letters and references within, there is a glaring absence of communication during 2008. Was this a time when Osama bin Laden went dark? Or is there sensitive information in documents from that period meaning they’re still under wraps?
Getting a deeper look at the years from which we capture quite a bit of data:
Lastly, one of the unique features of Recorded Future includes the ability to extract references to predictions and future periods of time. From this particular set of documents, one future reference emerged related to planning the foundation of a Muslim state.