There are multiple analytic flaws with most source data, and particularly with any source data labeled in relation to terrorism. If Israelis have have touched the data in any way, shape, or form (especially including the software), it must be considered contaminated and severely suspect. While I have nothing critical to say about the application of Sentinel to flawed data, I do feel obliged to point out the sucking chest wounds that afflict most source data.
01 Terrorism is not a threat, it is a tactic. Defining every criminal or political incident in a pre-determined “hot-spot” as being “terrorism-related” is not analysis, it is sophmoric.
02 Databases are an important counterintelligence target. Who created the analytic model and source data parameters, who wrote every bit of code touching the data, who the source feeders and intermediaries are — all of this matters. Apart from data bases corrupted by elements of the US Government to their own ends, we have data bases and information technology systems so totally penetrated by enemy powers and special interests as to call into question the integrity and utility of at least 50% of all standing databases.
03 Incidents are what should be plotted, in context not only of time and space, but of all of the other pre-conditions of revolution that the US Government in particular refuses to contemplate because it would make it obvious that it has severe shortcomings in its intelligence function. Still-born babies and babies born deformed as so many have been in Fallujah, Iraq, are just as important to stability analytics as are incidents of direct violence against “authority” figures or forces.
04 Cause and effect is not for simpletons. Whole systems analytics demands an understanding of the totality of the information environment, with very special care being paid to the human factor — if the analysis does not include the political-legal, socio-economic, ideo-cultural, techno-gemographic, and natural-geographic “layers,” it is not analysis, it is stove-piped incident reporting of little use to anyone. If you cannot comprehend the cause and address that, the effects will get worse no matter what you do. Victory over “effects” is not possible.
05 Historical data is useless for forecasting unless you can do integrated analytics that tease out the cause and effect. Saying that six terrorist incidents will originate in Gaze every six weeks is idiocy. Saying that incidents will spike in the six weeks following an Israeli atrocity is much more useful. People do things for a reason — being excluded (see the work of Rojan Radej below) and screwed over is a cause.
06 Tactical excellence will never overcome strategic decrepitude I. Money and technology are not substitutes for virtue and thinking. There are four levels for any endeavor — strategic, operational, tactical, and technical — and any failure to integrate “Whole of Government” capabilities from 20 years before the operation to 20 years after the operation is destined to fail in expensive ways. “Strategic decrepitude” is a term of art taught at the US war colleges, and while it refers primarily to intellectual retardation, I personally find that moral retardation is twice as detrimental as the intellectual. It is the moral decrepitude that opens the way to intellectual and intelligence decrepitude and of course the underlying financial corruption that starts not with those doing the bribing, but those soliciting the bribes.
07 Tactical excellence will never overcome strategic decrepitude II.