This research project traces the evolution of militant organizations and the interactions that develop between them over time. Findings are presented in interactive “maps,” which provide both (1) visual representations of how relationships among militant organizations change over time and (2) links to in-depth profiles of individual groups.

Global Islamic State

This map traces established relationships between the Islamic State and global militant groups. Currently, the map focuses on direct affiliates of the Islamic State and the parent organizations of these affiliates. It will be updated as relations between the Islamic State and other militant organizations change and develop.


This map traces the relationships between some major militant organizations operating in Syria from 2011 through summer 2014. Currently, the map focuses on Islamist organizations. It will be updated to include others as more information becomes available.

Global Al-Qaeda

This map displays the links between al-Qaeda and its affiliated militant organizations. The map seeks to visually display the complex nature of the relationships between al Qaeda and its affiliates, as well as its rival/opposition organizations.


This map depicts militant organizations operating in Iraq and militant organizations outside Iraq with close ties to those in the country. The map focuses on the time period following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, though it traces groups from 2001 onwards.


This map diagrams militant organizations that operated in Italy during the 1950s through the 1980s.

North Caucasus

This map depicts terrorist organizations that operated in the North Caucasus from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 to present-day.


This map displays the relationships between the Communist/Socialist revolutionary groups and the Islamic revolutionary groups in the Philippines.


This map shows militant organizations that operated in Somalia beginning in the 1980s through the present day.


The map of Pakistani militants includes those organizations designated by the United Nations Security Council Committee charged with maintaining the “Al-Qaida Sanctions List of Entities and other groups and undertakings associated with Al-Qaida,” pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011). The list was last updated June 6, 2012.


See the maps Read the profiles Learn about the project

The Maps

The project is developing a series of interactive diagrams that “map” relationships among groups and show how those relationships change over time. The user can change map settings to display different features (e.g., leadership changes), adjust the time scale, and trace individual groups. At present, maps of conflicts in Iraq, Italy, and Pakistan are available for public view, but work is in progress on Germany, Colombia, Somalia, Algeria, Israel-Palestine, Turkey, and the Philippines. The Iraq map shows both groups internal to Iraq and regional or global groups with activities in Iraq (the map can be adjusted to show “domestic” and “external” interactions).

The Profiles

The maps contain links to group profiles. The profiles include information on group size, formation, ideology, activity, leaders, ties to other groups, resources, community relationships, and more. Each profile follows a standard format and provides citations to sources for all references. In some cases information is minimal and not all fields can be filled.


This project is a work in progress, and we welcome substantive feedback on our research and profiles as well as suggestions for the improvement of our web application. To submit a suggestion or correction, please visit the Feedback Page. You may also email the project team directly at mappingmilitants [at] lists [dot] stanford [dot] edu.