From May 2, 2012 through July 2012, I asked a related question with respect to the relative strength of al Qaeda (AQ) affiliates. After asking each respondent whether al Qaeda affiliates were ‘stronger’ or ‘weaker’ (see the results here), I asked respondents:
Which affiliate is the primary node of al Qaeda globally?
In total, 165 respondents selected a primary node of al Qaeda. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was the clear favorite on the anniversary of Bin Laden’s death. This seems unsurprising as AQAP was discussed profusely in the U.S. media during the May/June 2012 timeframe.
Here’s a chart showing the selections of voters this past summer.
Again, consistent with my break down of previous questions, I have shown the votes based on different demographic categories. Here are some that caught my eye.
- ’Government Non-Military’ voters were less likely to select AQAP and appear to believe AQ Central in Afghanistan and Pakistan remains the central node of al Qaeda.
- Those selecting ‘Television’ as their primary source (note – a small group of voters), were more likely than any other demographic to select an ‘Emerging AQ in North Africa’ as the primary node.
- Travel played an interesting dynamic in this vote. Those who have traveled outside the U.S./EU more than 2 years were evenly split between AQAP and AQ Central being the primary node of AQ. However, those that have traveled less than 2 years outside the U.S./EU selected AQAP at the same rate as the majority but were more diffuse in their selections beyond AQAP including the selection of al Shabaab at a rate of almost 10%.
Here are the results of all voters broken down by demographic group.