The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center's Spotlight on Global Jihad

    Main events of the past week
    • There was a decline in the scope of ISIS’s activity around the globe this week. Africa continued to be the epicenter of its activity.
    • The Sinai Peninsula: Six ISIS operatives were killed in a joint operation by the Egyptian army and the Sinai Tribal Union, and an ISIS commander was detained. ISIS weapons and equipment were also found and seized. An Egyptian colonel was wounded.
    • Syria: Five Syrian soldiers were killed and three others were wounded in an attack by ISIS operatives in the Tabqa region. Kurdish SDF forces detained 12 ISIS operatives in and around the city of Al-Hasakah.
    • Iraq: ISIS carried out extremely low-intensity activity. The Iraqi army carried out a number of counterterrorism operations.
    • Afghanistan: The elimination of an ISIS squad in Kunduz, which was responsible for firing rockets at Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
    • Africa: ISIS continued its attacks against military targets in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and against military targets and the Christian population in Mozambique. Togo: At least 30 people were killed in a series of attacks on villages in the north of the country, apparently by jihadists affiliated with ISIS or Al-Qaeda. Somalia: A suicide bomber from the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab movement detonated a car bomb at the entrance to a hotel in a city north of Mogadishu. At least three people were killed and 14 others were wounded.
    • The battle for hearts and minds: Following US President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel and Saudi Arabia, ISIS’s Al-Naba weekly published statements made previously by ISIS Spokesman Abu Umar al-Muhajir, attacking Arab countries for signing agreements with Israel.
    The Sinai Peninsula
    ISIS attacks
    • On July 18, 2022, an IED planted by ISIS in the Rafah region exploded, wounding an Egyptian colonel (Telegram, July 18, 2022). Several days before, on July 14, 2022, an old ISIS IED exploded in the village of Kharuba, between Al-Arish and Sheikh Zuweid. One civilian was killed and three others were wounded (Akhbar Sinaa al-Aan Facebook page, July 14, 2022).
    Counterterrorism activity
    • The Egyptian army continued its counterterrorism activity against ISIS. Following are highlights:
    • On July 13, 2022, three ISIS operatives were killed by Egyptian security forces in west Rafah. Operating in Bir al-Abd, the forces detained Mohammad Khaled al-Bayoudi, a Libyan national who was a second echelon commander in ISIS. The Egyptian security forces described the detainee as extremely dangerous (Akhbar Sinaa al-Aan Facebook page, July 13, 2022; Mubasher Bashbish Facebook page, July 13, 2022).
    Mohammad Khaled al-Bayoudi, detained south of Bir al-Abd (Mubasher Bashbish Facebook page, July 13, 2022)


    Mohammad Khaled al-Bayoudi, detained south of Bir al-Abd
    (Mubasher Bashbish Facebook page, July 13, 2022)

    • On July 18, 2022, three ISIS operatives were killed in west Rafah in an exchange of fire with a Sinai Tribal Union force. One fighter was wounded (Akhbar Sinaa al-Aan Facebook page).
    • IEDs, drugs, communications equipment and an explosive belt were found in the Rafah region (Akhbar Sinaa al-Aan Facebook page, July 14, 2022).
    • Two tunnels were exposed and destroyed, probably in the Rafah region (YouTube, July 16, 2022).
    One of the tunnels being destroyed (YouTube, July 16, 2022)


    One of the tunnels being destroyed (YouTube, July 16, 2022)

    • The Egyptian army and a Sinai Tribal Union force found (probably in the Rafah region) a depot containing IEDs ready for use and equipment for the manufacture of IEDs (Sinai Tribal Union’s Facebook page, July 17, 2022).
    Sinai Tribal Union fighters near the equipment found (Sinai Tribal Union’s Facebook page, July 17, 2022)


    Sinai Tribal Union fighters near the equipment found
    (Sinai Tribal Union’s Facebook page, July 17, 2022)

    The Syrian arena
    Map of the Syrian provinces (freeworldmaps.net)
    Map of the Syrian provinces (freeworldmaps.net)
    The Idlib region
    • According to reports, there were exchanges of artillery fire between the Syrian army and the rebel forces in the southern and western border region of the rebel enclave in Idlib. Russian aircraft activity was observed in the rebel enclave (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, July 19, 2022).
    The desert region (Al-Badia)
    • On July 17, 2022, Russian fighter jets attacked ISIS targets in the desert region in southwest Al-Raqqah. Since early July 2022, the Russian Air Force has carried out 150 airstrikes against ISIS targets in the desert region (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, July 17, 2022).
    Al-Raqqah region
    • On July 14, 2022, ISIS operatives ambushed a Syrian army force on the outskirts of the city of Tabqa. Five soldiers were killed and three were wounded (Al-Quds al-Arabi, July 14, 2022).
    Al-Hasakah region
    • On July 13, 2022, the Kurdish SDF forces detained 12 ISIS operatives in the city of Al-Hasakah and its environs, as part of a campaign for locating ISIS sleeper cells (SDF PRESS, July 13, 2022).
    The Iraqi arena
    Provinces of Iraq (Wikipedia)
    Provinces of Iraq (Wikipedia)

    ISIS attacks by province[1]

    Salah al-Din Province
    • On July 12, 2022, ISIS operatives fired at Iraqi soldiers in the village of Al-Islah, in the Al-Abaiji region, about 40 km north of Baghdad. Two soldiers were wounded and a thermal camera was destroyed (Telegram, July 13, 2022).

    Counterterrorism activity

    Erbil Province
    • On July 14, 2022, Kurdish Peshmerga forces operating east of Erbil killed Mohammad Rashid al-Ishaki, a senior ISIS operative who was ISIS’s Dijla (Tigris) Province commander. Three of his escorts were also killed, and an ISIS collaborator was detained (Iraqi News Agency, July 14, 2022).
    Nineveh Province
    • According to a security source, the Iraqi army repelled an ISIS attack in the Nineveh Province. No further details were provided (Al-Sumaria, July 17, 2022).
    Salah al-Din Province
    • The Iraqi army operating on the outskirts of the city of Samarra found ISIS weapons, including 290 rockets and 32 60mm mortars (Al-Sumaria, July 17, 2022).
    ISIS weapons seized (Al-Sumaria, July 15, 2022)
    ISIS weapons seized (Al-Sumaria, July 15, 2022)
    Summary of ISIS’s activity in the various provinces
    • An infographic published by ISIS, summing up its activity around the world in the period between July 7 and July 13, 2022, indicates that the organization carried out 39 attacks in its various provinces around the globe (compared to 71 in the previous week). The largest number of attacks was carried out in the West Africa Province (8). Attacks carried out in the other provinces: Central Africa (7); Mozambique (6); Khorasan, i.e. Afghanistan (6); Iraq (4); Syria (3); Sinai (1); Yemen (1); Somalia (1); India (1); and the Sahel (1). A total of 108 people were killed or wounded in the attacks, compared to 148 in the previous week. The largest number of casualties was in the Central Africa Province (53). The other casualties were in the following provinces: Central Africa (12); Khorasan (10); Mozambique (8); Iraq (6); Yemen (5); Syria (4); India (4); Sahel (4); Somalia (1); and Sinai (1) (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, July 14, 2022).
    • According to the infographic, the number of attacks carried out by ISIS dropped significantly compared to last week, as did the number of casualties. The West Africa Province led in the number of attacks, whereas the Central Africa Province led in the number of casualties.
    Summary of ISIS attacks (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, July 14, 2022)
    Summary of ISIS attacks (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, July 14, 2022)
    ISIS attacks by week (according to ISIS data)
    ISIS attacks by week (according to ISIS data)
    Africa
    • On July 19, 2022, ISIS’s West Africa Province released a video entitled “Say ‘Allah is the Greatest’ for the exalted guidance that He gave you.” The 12-minute video shows ISIS operatives praying and having the Eid al-Adha feast. A speaker in the video notes that the ISIS operatives are celebrating the liberation of the prisoners from Kuje Prison in Nigeria. He addresses incarcerated ISIS operatives, asking them to be patient and assuring them that ISIS does not forget its incarcerated operatives. Another speaker in the video calls on Muslims around the world, and especially in Chad, to get rid of their tyrannical rulers. He conveys a message to ISIS leader Abu al-Hassan al-Hashemi al-Qurashi and to its spokesman, Abu Umar al-Muhajir, saying that ISIS operatives in West Africa continue to act and obey them (Telegram, July 19, 2022).
    ISIS operatives celebrating Eid al-Adha (Telegram, July 19, 2022)
    ‌‌ISIS operatives celebrating Eid al-Adha‌‌(Telegram, July 19, 2022)
    The slide preceding the video.
    ‌‌The slide preceding the video ‌‌(Telegram, July 19, 2022)
    Nigeria
    • According to the Nigerian Ministry of Defense, between July 1 and July 14, 2022, a total of 3,858 Boko Haram operatives surrendered to the country’s security forces, including six commanders. According to Nigerian Minister of the Interior Rauf Aregbesola, more than 61,000 Boko Haram operatives and criminals affiliated with the organization are being held in the northeast of the country. He noted that Boko Haram was on the verge of defeat (thewhistler.ng, July 14, 2022; International Christian Concern, July 12, 2022).
    • On July 19, 2022, a Nigerian army patrol was attacked in the town of Malam Fatori, north of Maiduguri. Three soldiers were killed and five others were wounded (Telegram, July 19, 2022). The day before, a convoy of the Congolese army and the militias supporting it were targeted by gunfire between the towns of Mamuri and Gubio (about 80 km northwest of Maiduguri). Eight soldiers and fighters were killed and several others were wounded. Weapons and ammunition were seized (Telegram, July 18, 2022).
    • On July 18, 2022, ISIS operatives killed a commander and four fighters of a civilian aid force supporting the African Coalition against ISIS in the Gubio region, about 80 km north of Maiduguri, the capital of the Borno State, in northeastern Nigeria (thecable.ng, July 18, 2022). Two days earlier, on July 16, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked a Nigerian army checkpoint in the town of Monguno, about 100 km northeast of Maiduguri. The soldiers fled and ISIS operatives seized weapons and ammunition (Telegram, July 17, 2022). On the same day (July 16, 2022), ISIS operatives attacked a Nigerian army patrol in the town of Malam Fatori, near the Nigeria-Niger border, and the soldiers fled (Telegram, July 17, 2022). Two days earlier, on July 14, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked a Nigerian army patrol in the same location (the town of Malam Fatori). Three soldiers were wounded (Telegram, July 15, 2022).
    The Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • On July 15, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked a Congolese army post in the village of Mabilu, in the Ruangoma area, in the Beni region, not far from the border with Uganda. The compound, which was used by the Congolese army as a staging zone, was set on fire (Telegram, July 16, 2022). Two days earlier, on July 13, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked a Congolese army compound in the village of Nazinga, in the Beni region. The soldiers fled the compound and ISIS operatives seized weapons and ammunition (Telegram, July 14, 2022).
    Congolese army compound in the village of Nazinga going up in flames (Telegram, July 15, 2022)
    ‌‌Congolese army compound in the village of Nazinga going up in flames (Telegram, July 15, 2022)
    Compound used as a Congolese army staging zone going up in flames (Telegram, July 16, 2022).
    ‌‌Congolese army compound in the village of Nazinga going up in flames (Telegram, July 15, 2022)
    Mozambique
    • This week, ISIS’s Mozambique Province continued to carry out attacks against the Mozambican army and Christian residents in the Cabo Delgado Province in northeastern Mozambique.
    Chad
    • According to an announcement by ISIS’s West Africa Province, on July 10, 2022, its operatives attacked a Chadian army compound in the village of Bur Kalam, in the Lake Chad region. Six soldiers were killed and six others were wounded. Subsequently, the home of a Chadian army officer was broken into and his security guard was killed. During the retreat, there was an exchange of fire with a Chadian army patrol, which attempted to prevent them from retreating. Two more soldiers were wounded (Telegram, July 16, 2022).
    Mali
    • On July 17, 2022, ISIS operatives abducted a collaborator belonging to the militias supporting the Nigerien army in the town of Tabankort, about 100 km north of the Mali-Niger border. According to ISIS, the collaborator admitted that he had supplied weapons to the Nigerien militias and had also seen to the evacuation and medical care of wounded fighters. He was executed (Telegram, July 18, 2022).
    • Three security personnel and three civilians were killed in an attack by armed men near the capital, Bamako, in the south of the country. It is estimated that jihadist elements affiliated with Al-Qaeda or ISIS are responsible for the attack. The location of the attack is considered rare, since the region of the capital, unlike the center of the country, was not usually a target for attacks by jihadist elements (Al-Jazeera, July 16, 2022).
    • On July 16, 2022, a UAV of the Russian Wagner force landed in Menaka, in eastern Mali. A video that was released shows an ISIS operative firing at the UAV and the UAV going up in flames (Telegram, July 18, 2022).
    The UAV going up in flames (Amaq News Agency, Telegram, July 18, 2022)
    ‌‌The UAV going up in flames‌‌(Amaq News Agency, Telegram, July 18, 2022)
    ISIS operative firing at the UAV.
    ‌‌ISIS operative firing at the UAV (Amaq News Agency, Telegram, July 18, 2022)
    Togo
    • At least 30 people were killed between July 13 and July 16, 2022 in a series of attacks on villages in northern Togo, an area suffering from attacks by jihadist elements (longwarjournal.org, July 16, 2022). So far, no claim of responsibility for the attacks has been issued, but it is estimated that those responsible are jihadi elements affiliated with ISIS or Al-Qaeda.
    Somalia
    • On July 18, 2022, an IED was activated against a convoy of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS)[2] at Ali Kamin junction in Mogadishu. One of the vehicles was put out of commission. No casualties were reported (Telegram, July 18, 2022).
    • On July 17, 2022, a suicide bomber detonated the car bomb he was driving at the entrance to a hotel in the city of Jowhar, about 80 km north of Mogadishu. At least three people were killed and 14 others were wounded. The explosion damaged the hotel and several nearby buildings. The Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab movement claimed responsibility for the attack (Anatolia News Agency, July 17, 2022). On the same day, a US airstrike was carried out against targets of the Al-Shabaab movement, killing two of its operatives (Bloomberg, July 19, 2022).

    Asia

    Afghanistan
    • On July 17, 2022, the Taliban government announced that during an operation in Imam Saheb in the Kunduz region in the north of the country, its security forces liquidated an ISIS squad that was responsible for launching rockets at Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in the past few months (Al-Araby al-Jadeed, July 17, 2022). ISIS operatives launched five rockets at Uzbekistan on July 5, 2022, 10 rockets at Tajikistan on April 17, 2022, and nine more rockets at Tajikistan on May 5, 2022. ISIS’s Khorasan Province claimed responsibility for the rocket launches that were carried out from northern Afghanistan.
    • On July 16, 2022, ISIS operatives killed an Afghan Air Force pilot in the city of Kabul by activating an IED (Telegram, July 17, 2022). The day before, on July 15, 2022, ISIS operatives detonated an IED against a Taliban vehicle in Kabul. Five Taliban members were killed or wounded (Telegram, July 15, 2022).
    • On July 13, 2022, ISIS operatives shot and killed four Shiite civilians in the city of Pol-e Alam, in the Logar Province, about 50 km south of Kabul (Telegram, July 14, 2022).
    Pakistan
    • On July 16, 2022, operatives of ISIS’s Khorasan Province attacked a Pakistani police compound in the city of Peshawar, about 30 km east of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Two policemen were killed and their weapons were seized (Telegram, July 16, 2022).
    The battle for hearts and minds
    • Following US President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel and Saudi Arabia, this week’s issue of ISIS’s Al-Naba weekly published statements made by ISIS Spokesman Abu Umar al-Muhajir, in an article entitled “To the Islamic Nation and its sons who are passive towards jihad and desire humiliation and submission.” The statements, which were originally made in the context of the signing of the Abraham Accords, were apparently quoted deliberately. The quote states that the rulers of Islamic countries are tyrants and are handled like marionettes by the Jews and the Christians. They are quick to please the Jews and hold meetings and sign agreements with them and this is nothing new since they are agents of the Jews. In addition, the article states that everyone should know that Jerusalem will not be liberated, except by the true believers (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, July 14, 2022).
    The statements in ISIS’s Al-Naba weekly (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, July 14, 2022)
    The statements in ISIS’s Al-Naba weekly (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, July 14, 2022)


    The 10th edition of the Voice of Khurasan, the magazine of ISIS’s Khorasan Province, which came out this week, attacks the Saudi regime for allowing Christians, Jews and members of other religions access to set foot on the Arabian Peninsula. The province also threatens to raid Mecca in the near future and “purge it of the infidels” (Telegram, July 18, 2022).

    • ISIS Sahel Province released several photos documenting 11 Al-Qaeda operatives pledging allegiance to ISIS’s new leader, Abu al-Hassan al-Hashemi al-Qurashi. In the photos, it can be seen that at least three of the operatives are children (Telegram, July 17, 2022).
    Pledge of allegiance to ISIS’s leader (Telegram, July 17, 2022)
    Pledge of allegiance to ISIS’s leader (Telegram, July 17, 2022)
    Pledge of allegiance to ISIS’s leader (Telegram, July 17, 2022)
    Pledge of allegiance to ISIS’s leader (Telegram, July 17, 2022)
    Appendix

    Additional ISIS attacks (according to ISIS’s claims of responsibility)

    The Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • On July 19, 2022, ISIS attacked a Congolese army compound in the village of Nialik, in the Beni region, near the border with Uganda. Two soldiers were killed and two rifles were seized (Telegram, July 19, 2022).
    • On July 12, 2022, ISIS attacked the Christian neighborhood of Paida in Beni. Five residents were killed. Several homes were set on fire (Telegram, July 13, 2022).
    • On July 11, 2022, ISIS attacked the Christian village of Bulongo, in the Beni region. Four residents were killed. Several homes were set on fire (Telegram, July 13, 2022).
    • On July 11, 2022, ISIS attacked a Congolese army compound in the village of Nialik, in the Beni region. Weapons and ammunition were seized (Telegram, July 13, 2022).
    Mozambique
    • On July 13, 2022, ISIS attacked a Mozambican army compound in the village of Kitulo, near the town of Mocímboa da Praia, in the Cabo Delgado Province. One soldier was killed and several others were wounded. Ammunition was seized (Telegram, July 13, 2022).
    • On July 13, 2022, two Christian civilians were beheaded near the village of Muja, near Ancuabe, in the Cabo Delgado Province (Telegram, July 15, 2022).
    • On July 12, 2022, ISIS fired at a Mozambican army patrol near the village of Cavinto, in the Macomia region, in the eastern part of the Cabo Delgado Province. One soldier was killed and several others were wounded. Ammunition was seized (Telegram, July 13, 2022).
    • On July 12, 2022, a hand grenade was thrown at a Mozambican army patrol between the villages of Nakoy and Nova Zambézia, in the western part of the Macomia region. One soldier was killed and two others were wounded (Telegram, July 15, 2022).
    • On July 12, 2022, ISIS attacked the Christian village of Nakoy, in the Macomia region. Dozens of homes were set on fire (Telegram, July 15, 2022).
    Afghanistan
    • On July 12, 2022, two Pakistani Intelligence “agents” were targeted by gunfire in the Mamond area, in the Bajaur region, on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. One “agent” was killed and the other was wounded (Telegram, July 13, 2022).

    [1] According to ISIS claims of responsibility and the Iraqi media ↑
    [2] The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) is a force of the African Union comprising troops from East African countries: Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. This task force was given a mandate to operate in Somalia until the end of 2024. After that, the security activity will be transferred in full to the Somali army. ↑

    SOURCE: The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center

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    Evarist Chahali

    Evarist Chahali

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