Aaron has posted some hard-won data about activity on the top-ten Jihadi forums that he’s collected over the last three years. He hasn’t used the name of the forums, so it’s difficult for me to draw my own conclusions, but Aaron’s interpretation of the data fits what I’ve seen:
It’s probably too early to say anything conclusive, but my feeling is that the jihadis are getting more resilient, and are recovering better and more quickly than they did in ’07.
The recovery he’s talking about is not the recreation of lost forums–which turns out to be harder than most people imagined–but rather the migration from the top-tier forums to the second-tier forums, which I observed some months ago.
They just move from one forum to another. As they become more experienced and tech savvy they do recover better and more quickly. Second-tier forums become first-tier and so on.
The collapse of the big forums in September was a huge blow, but I don’t believe that the “recovery” that happened after that is remarkable or indicative of anything.
Or maybe that’s just me. Will is well aware of my views about these forums.