I had dinner with Sean Gourley recently. He claims he's got a formula he can use to predict the likelihood of an attack in places with serious insurgencies. Gourley says he's mapped the distribution of attacks in wars in places like Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq and Senegal. He claims that despite the chaos, the attacks actually have a mathematical distribution.
From that he's created a formula that he says can be used to predict the probable time and place of future attacks. Could be amazingly useful. But, the crucial question here is whether its really true. Here's a link to his a recent talk at TED.