The CTC launched the Harmony Program in 2005 in order to release and analyze documents from the Department of Defense’s Harmony database. The focus of this program is to contextualize the inner-functioning of al-Qa’ida, its associated movement, and other security threats through primary source documents. Harmony products released by the CTC are always accompanied by an analytical report and the primary source material from which its conclusions are based. By releasing this material, the CTC aims to make these sources, which are captured in the course of operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and other theaters, available to other scholars for further study.
While captured documents offer unique insight into al‐Qa`ida’s decision-making process they are most valuable when contextualized with information drawn from other sources. Scholars and practitioners should be aware that analyzing such data is fraught with risk. Documents in the Harmony database were collected on the battlefield unscientifically. There is no way to know how representative documents captured by U.S. forces are of the larger body of information produced by al‐Qa`ida or other insurgents. Likewise, the vast database in which they are stored is imperfect and virtually impossible to search systematically. Readers and researchers should therefore be wary of conclusions drawn from Harmony documents alone.