A Youtube video titled “Islam & Black Flags Al Mahdi & Dajjal” can predict when an ISIS attack will occur next. Roughly a week after activity on the video spikes, an ISIS attack occurs.
Usually for many Youtube videos, the spike in activity occurs on the first day it is released and then declines as the video gets older. It is very rare for videos to get a sudden uptick in traffic months or even years after the video emerged to the public.
For example, on December 18, 2015, roughly a year after the video was put onto Youtube, the video received a spike in traffic. Eight days later after the spike occurred, an ISIS suicide bomber entered an Ahmadi mosque in Bagmara, Bangladesh, which was unexpected since it was rare to see ISIS attacks in Bangladesh. Two weeks later, there was a spike in traffic again, and a week later, ISIS fighters attacked the ports of Zueitina in Libya. Similar attacks like this one occurred in the coming weeks after the video had a surge in activity.
Scott T. Crino, a managing director for Predata said in a statement regarding the video, “It gets them psyched up. So, often there’s a big spike in that particular (video), prior to an event occurring.”
Predata measures online interactions and finds connections between those interactions and physical tests. For example, Predata will collect data from Google searches and use them as an indicator of events that are likely to come. They also follow interest on the internet. If there is a surge of interest in a particular topic, which Crino calls “chatter,” they can predict if an event is about to occur such as a protest or a terrorist attack.
According to Joshua Haecker, Predata’s Director of Business Development, six weeks prior to the terrorist attack in France, there were multiple changes on the France language Wikipedia page. This was an indicator of a potential terrorist attack.
“You can see a huge spike up in likelihood of terrorist attacks, at 60%, in France on September 11, 2015, and then it drops back down for a few days and then steadily clumps from 28% up to 49%, the day before the attack.” Haecker said in a statement to Defense One.
However, Predata is not without its limits. It can’t predict events when there is a small amount of data created. The process also takes time to create data, so it would be difficult to predict an event in a short amount of time.
In Predata’s April 17 newsletter, the company predicted that there would soon be a terrorist attack in the Philippines. Two weeks later, there was an attack in General Santos City in the Philippines and 14 were killed.
Some government agencies are starting to use Predata already while the Pentagon and State Department will start using it in trials this month.
Do you think Predata should be used to predict upcoming terrorist threats? Let us know in the comments below!