Saudi Arabia released the names of 85 of its most wanted terrorists shortly after the formation of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in January 2009. Eleven of those men shared a similar story: Each had been detained at Guantanamo Bay, underwent rehabilitation after returning to Saudi Arabia, and subsequently fled to Yemen and joined AQAP. Secret U.S. government documents recently released by WikiLeaks offer unprecedented insight into how the “Saudi Eleven” embraced jihad.
Ten years after 9/11, this interactive site offers a first-of-its-kind opportunity to explore the people, places, and organizations that impacted each individual’s radicalization and, for some, their ultimate renouncement of radical Islam. By representing relationships visually, users can explore important figures and patterns of behavior common to the Saudi Eleven. Only through a better understanding of the social and other connections between all of the actors tied to global terrorism can more effective strategies be crafted to reduce the threat.
Each person, place, and organization is represented as an interconnected icon. Visitors can click on an icon to see basic biographical information, or click on the lines connecting any two icons to learn more about the relationship. Each member of the Saudi Eleven has their own unique timeline, which allows users to see how a particular individual’s experience unfolded chronologically. Individual’s movements around the world are also plotted on a map. Visit the site to journey through the lives of some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists.