The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center's Spotlight on Global Jihad (October 7-19, 2022)

    Main events of the past week
    • Over the past two weeks, ISIS has concentrated its activity in Africa (Nigeria and Mozambique) and Afghanistan. The downtrend in the scope of its activity around the world continued.
    • Afghanistan: A suicide bombing attack was carried out in a mosque in the Afghan Ministry of the Interior compound in Kabul, resulting in the death of 25 people and dozens of wounded. No party has accepted responsibility for the attack. In the ITIC’s assessment, ISIS was behind it.
    • The Sinai Peninsula: The Egyptian security forces continued their counterterrorism efforts. ISIS continued to carry out relatively low-intensity activity.
    • Syria: ISIS continued to operate against the Kurdish forces and the Syrian army in the Deir ez-Zor-Al-Mayadeen region. Nine soldiers and militia fighters supporting the army as well as three civilians were killed in the attacks. A total of 19 Syrian soldiers were killed and 22 others were wounded in the explosion of an IED near a military bus on the outskirts of Damascus. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack but it is estimated that ISIS was behind it. ISIS’s deputy governor of the Syria Province was killed in an airstrike by an American aircraft in the Al-Hasakah region. According to Russia, about 100 ISIS operatives were killed in a Russian airstrike against a training camp and a command post of ISIS in northwestern Syria. About 20 “radical Islamists” were killed in a Russian airstrike in the Daraa region. According to the Russians, some of those killed were responsible for the attack on the military bus in Damascus.
    • Iraq: ISIS continued to carry out low-intensity activity.
    • Africa: In Nigeria: There was an increase in ISIS activity in the northeast of the country. In Mozambique: ISIS continued its activity against the Christian population.
    The Sinai Peninsula
    ISIS activity[1]
    • On October 14, 2022, a patrol of the Egyptian army and the Sinai Tribal Union carrying out searches near the Rafah beach was targeted by gunfire. Three fighters were killed and several others were wounded (Telegram, October 15, 2022).
    • On October 5, 2022, there was an exchange of fire between ISIS and a Sinai Tribal Union patrol carrying out searchers near the Rafah beach. One fighter was killed and two others were wounded (Telegram, October 5, 2022).
    Counterterrorism activity
    • On October 16, 2022, a joint Egyptian army and Sinai Tribal Union force operating in the Rafah region killed two armed ISIS operatives. One of them was wearing an explosive belt. Another ISIS operative was captured (Sinaa Mubasher Facebook page, October 16, 2022).
    The Syrian arena[2]
    Map of Syria’s provinces (freeworldmaps.net)
    Map of Syria’s provinces (freeworldmaps.net)
    Deir ez-Zor-Al-Mayadeen region
    • On October 17, 2022, the imam of a mosque who had also been a school headmaster was shot and killed in the village of Al-Hajna, about 35 km east of Deir ez-Zor (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, October 17, 2022).
    • On October 12, 2022, ISIS attacked posts of the Syrian army and militias supporting it in the Al-Duweir region, about 30 km southeast of Al-Mayadeen, and in the Al-Asharah region, about 10 km southeast of Al-Mayadeen. Nine soldiers and militia fighters were killed in the exchange of fire between the sides, which lasted for a long time. Three ISIS operatives and three civilians were killed, and another civilian was wounded (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, October 13, 2022).
    • On October 10, 2022, an SDF fighter was abducted in the village of Al-Kassar, in the Al-Basira region, about 14 km north of Al-Mayadeen. The fighter was interrogated and then shot to death (Telegram, October 10, 2022).
    • On October 9, 2022, an IED was activated, apparently by ISIS operatives, against a Syrian army force in the Al-Bishri Mountain, about 70 km west of Deir ez-Zor. Several soldiers were wounded (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, October 9, 2022).
    • On October 5, 2022, two SDF “spies” riding on motorcycles were targeted by gunfire in the town of Al-Basira, about 15 km north of Al-Mayadeen. They were wounded (Telegram, October 5, 2022).
    The Damascus region
    • On October 13, 2022, an IED was activated in the Saboura region, about 9 km west of Damascus, near a military bus carrying Syrian soldiers. A total of 19 Syrian soldiers were killed and 22 others were wounded. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack but it is estimated that ISIS was behind it (TASS; Reuters, October 13, 2022).
    The desert region (Al-Badia)
    • On October 17, 2022, a mine was activated against a vehicle of the National Defense Forces while they were carrying out searches for ISIS operatives near the Al-Tanahej region, about 90 km east of Hama. Two fighters were killed and five others were wounded (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, October 17, 2022).
    Al-Hasakah region
    • On October 14, 2022, an IED was activated against an SDF vehicle on the Tal Ulu road, in the Al-Yaarabiya region, about 120 km northeast of Al-Hasakah (near the Syria-Iraq border). A commander and three of his escorts were wounded. The vehicle was put out of commission (Telegram, October 14, 2022).
    • On October 13, 2022, ISIS operatives riding on a motorcycle shot and killed an official of the Al-Shadadi local council, about 50 km south of Al-Hasakah (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, October 13, 2022).
    Infographic on the activity of ISIS’s Syria Province
    • ISIS’s Al-Naba weekly published an infographic summing up the activity of the Syria Province between July 30 and October 5, 2022. According to the infographic, the organization carried out 59 attacks in this period, killing or wounding 122 people (103 SDF fighters and 19 Syrian soldiers). A total of 34 vehicles and five cameras were destroyed or put out of commission in the attacks (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, October 6, 2022).
    Summary of the activity of ISIS’s Syria Province (Al-Naba, Telegram, October 6, 2022)
    Summary of the activity of ISIS’s Syria Province (Al-Naba, Telegram, October 6, 2022)
    Counterterrorism activity
    Idlib region
    • General Oleg Egorov, deputy head of the Russian Coordination Center in Syria, announced that about 100 ISIS operatives had been killed in Russian airstrikes on October 16, 2022, against a training camp and a command post of ISIS in northwestern Syria. According to General Egorov, the airstrikes destroyed a command post, ammunition depots, weapons, the headquarters in the camp, as well as 15 vehicles equipped with machine guns (TASS, October 17, 2022). So far, the report has not been confirmed by any local source.
    • That same day, airstrikes were also carried out against positions of the Suqur al-Sham faction, which is affiliated with the rebel organizations, north of the village of Qataa, northwest of Aleppo. Three faction operatives were killed and nine others were wounded (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, October 17, 2022). According to local sources, Russian fighter jets carried out the attack after forces of HTS, the leading organization among the rebels in the Idlib region, had entered the Afrin region, about 40 km northwest of Aleppo (alsahafa.net and Al-Jazeera, October 16, 2022).
    Al-Raqqah region
    • On October 10, 2022, a drone apparently belonging to the US-led Global Coalition carried out an airstrike against an ISIS operative riding a motorcycle in the Tell Abyad rural area, about 80 km north of Al-Raqqah, near the Syria-Turkey border. The operative was killed (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, October 10, 2022).
    Deir ez-Zor-Al-Mayadeen region
    • On October 16, 2022, a Syrian army force launched a joint operation with Russian soldiers, Iranian Revolutionary Guards operatives, Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, and Palestinian Al-Quds Brigade fighters, searching the desert region between the city of Albukamal and Al-Mayadeen (Deir ez-Zor 24, October 16, 2022).
    Al-Hasakah region
    • The United States CENTCOM announced that on October 6, 2022, at 18:32 local time, an airstrike had been carried out in northern Syria. Abu Hashem al-Umawi, the deputy governor of ISIS’s Syria Province, and another senior ISIS official were killed in the attack (CENTCOM, October 6, 2022). According to another source, the deputy governor of the Syria Province who was killed was codenamed Abu Alaa, and the other senior official killed was Abu Muadh al-Qahtani, who had served as ISIS’s official in charge of prisoners (Jennifer Griffin@JenGriffinFNC Twitter account, October 6, 2022).
    • On October 17, 2022, the Kurdish Internal Security forces (Asayish) and the SDF operated against ISIS networks in the villages of Al-Khatouniya (about 5 km west of Al-Raqqah) and Al-Mansourah (about 25 km southwest of Al-Raqqah). A total of 17 ISIS operatives were detained. In addition, the forces found weapons, ammunition, passports and ISIS’s printed material (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, October 18, 2022).
    Southern Syria
    • On October 14-15, 2022, local militia fighters from the Daraa Province, with the support of Syrian army forces, operated against ISIS terror hotspots in the city of Jassem, about 20 km east of the Syria-Israel border. Seven ISIS operatives, including an Iraqi one, were killed. Three local militia fighters were killed as well (SANA, October 15, 2022). According to another source, three ISIS operatives and four local militia fighters were killed in the operation and several ISIS operatives were detained (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, October 15, 2022).
    • According to a Russian officer, on October 16, 2022, Russian fighter jets carried out an airstrike in Jassem, killing about 20 “radical Islamists.” According to him, four of those killed had been responsible for the attack on the bus in Damascus (TASS and Al-Jazeera, October 17, 2022).
    The Iraqi arena
    Provinces of Iraq (Wikipedia)
    Provinces of Iraq (Wikipedia)

    ISIS attacks by province[3]

    Diyala Province
    • On October 12, 2022, an IED was activated against a Tribal Mobilization vehicle in the Al-Houra region, about 60 km north of Baqubah. The vehicle was put out of commission. Two other IEDs were activated against a rescue force arriving on the scene to provide help. One fighter was killed and 10 others, including an officer, were wounded (Telegram, October 12, 2022).

    Counterterrorism activity

    Al-Anbar Province
    • Iraqi army forces operated against ISIS operatives and infrastructure mainly on the basis of intelligence:
    • On October 10, 2022, two ISIS operatives were killed in the Al-Anbar Province (the exact location was not mentioned). In addition, the forces found an ATV, two Kalashnikov rifles, two explosive belts, and four hand grenades (SecMedCell Facebook page, which belongs to the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office, October 10, 2022).
    • On October 7, 2022, Iraqi Air Force fighter jets attacked an ISIS hotspot in Wadi Zghaitoun, about 35 km southwest of Kirkuk. Muhammad Madhuri Muhammad, codenamed Abu Mustafa, who had been ISIS’s deputy military commander in charge of Kirkuk, and two of his escorts were killed in the airstrike (SecMedCell Facebook page, October 7, 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 September 29 and October 5, 2022, indicates that the organization carried out 32 attacks in its various provinces around the globe (compared to 31 in the previous week). The largest number of attacks was carried out by ISIS’s West Africa Province (8). Attacks carried out in the other provinces: Syria (5); Sinai (5); Iraq (4); Central Africa (4); Pakistan (2); Khorasan, i.e., Afghanistan (2); Mozambique (1); and Somalia (1). A total of 52 people were killed or wounded in the attacks, compared to 62 in the previous week. The largest number of casualties was in the West Africa Province (18). The other casualties were in the following provinces: Central Africa (12); Syria (7); Pakistan (5); Sinai (4); Iraq (2); Khorasan, i.e., Afghanistan (2); Mozambique (1); and Somalia (1) (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, October 6, 2022).
    • An infographic published by ISIS, summing up its activity around the world in the period between October 6 and October 12, 2022, indicates that the organization carried out 20 attacks in its various provinces around the globe (compared to 32 in the previous week). The largest number of attacks was carried out by ISIS’s West Africa Province (6). Attacks carried out in the other provinces: Iraq (5); Khorasan, i.e., Afghanistan (4); Mozambique (3); and Syria (2). A total of 54 people were killed or wounded in the attacks, compared to 52 in the previous week. The largest number of casualties was in the West Africa Province (19). The other casualties were in the following provinces: Iraq (14); Khorasan, i.e., Afghanistan (12); Mozambique (5); and Syria (4) (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, October 13, 2022). This was ISIS’s  smallest scope of activity over the current year.
    Summary of the attacks on October 6-12, 2022 (Al-Naba, Telegram, October 13, 2022)
    Summary of the attacks on October 6-12, 2022‌ ‌(Al-Naba, Telegram, October 13, 2022)
    Summary of ISIS attacks between September 29 and October 5, 2022 (Al-Naba, Telegram, October 13, 2022).
    ‌ ‌Summary of ISIS attacks between September 29 and October 5, 2022 (Al-Naba, Telegram, October 13, 2022)
    ISIS attacks by week (according to ISIS data)
    ISIS attacks by week (according to ISIS data)

    Africa[4]

    Nigeria
    ISIS activity
    • On October 16, 2022, a Nigerian army patrol was targeted by gunfire in the town of Malam Fatori, in the northern part of Borno State, in northeastern Nigeria. The soldiers fled. Vehicles were damaged (Telegram, October 17, 2022).
    • On October 16, 2022, an attack was carried out against the Christian town of Lokuga, in Kogi State, southwest of the capital Abuja. Five civilians were killed. A church was set on fire (Telegram, October 17, 2022).
    • On October 14, 2022, an attack was carried out against a Nigerian army checkpoint in the town of Pulka, in Borno State. Two soldiers were killed and the rest fled. A medium machine gun and ammunition were seized (Telegram, October 15, 2022).
    • On October 13, 2022, an attack was carried out against a Nigerian police checkpoint in the town of Monguno, about 100 km northeast of Maiduguri, in Borno State. The policemen fled. Two vehicles were set on fire (Telegram, October 14, 2022).
    Nigerian police vehicle going up in flames at a checkpoint in the town of Monguno (Amaq, Telegram, October 16, 2022)
    ‌ ‌Nigerian police vehicle going up in flames at a checkpoint in the town of Monguno‌ ‌(Amaq, Telegram, October 16, 2022)
    • On October 13, 2022, a Nigerian army patrol was targeted by gunfire in the town of Malam Fatori. The soldiers fled and no casualties were reported (Telegram, October 13, 2022).
    • On October 11, 2022, an attack was carried out against a Nigerian army convoy between the towns of Kumshe and Banki, near the Nigeria-Cameroon border. Those on board one of the vehicles were killed or wounded. The vehicle was destroyed (Telegram, October 13, 2022).
    • On October 11, 2022, an IED was activated and shots were fired at a Nigerian army convoy between the towns of Logomani and Gajibo, northeast of Maiduguri. All those on board one of the vehicles were killed or wounded (Telegram, October 12, 2022).
    • On October 10, 2022, an attack was carried out against a gathering of forces of militias supporting the Nigerian army in the town of Chara, about 160 km southwest of Maiduguri. Three fighters were killed. Their homes were set on fire. Three guns and five motorcycles were seized (Telegram, October 13, 2022).
    • On October 10, 2022, an attack was carried out against the Christian village of Jupe Nuhoi, which is located near the town of Biu, about 165 km southwest of Maiduguri. The civilians fled. A church and homes of civilians were set on fire (Telegram, October 13, 2022).
    Homes of Christian civilians going up in flames in the Christian village of Jupe Nuhoi, in northeastern Nigeria (Telegram, October 17, 2022)
    ‌ ‌Homes of Christian civilians going up in flames in the Christian village of Jupe Nuhoi, in northeastern Nigeria (Telegram, October 17, 2022)
    • On October 10, 2022, an attack was carried out against the Christian village of Korshiga, in Adamawa State, south of Borno State. Five civilians were killed and the rest fled (Telegram, October 11, 2022).
    • On October 9, 2022, shots were fired at a joint checkpoint of the Nigerian army and the militias supporting it in the town of Waraza, in Borno State. Three fighters were killed and two others were wounded (Telegram, October 10, 2022).
    • On October 9, 2022, a convoy of militias supporting the Nigerian army was ambushed and attacked near the town of Pulka, in Borno State. Two fighters were killed and several others were wounded. An assault rifle and two motorcycles were seized (Telegram, October 10, 2022).
    Mozambique
    • On October 15, 2022, a Christian civilian was abducted and executed in the village of Nunia, in the Ancuabe region of Cabo Delgado Province, in the northeast of the country (Telegram, October 15, 2022).
    • On October 12, 2022, a Mozambican army patrol was targeted by gunfire in the village of Litandaku, in the Macomia region, in the eastern part of Cabo Delgado Province. One soldier was killed and the rest fled. Two RPG launchers, two assault rifles and ammunition were seized (Telegram, October 14, 2022).
    ISIS operatives in the village of Litandaku (Telegram, October 17, 2022)
    ISIS operatives in the village of Litandaku (Telegram, October 17, 2022)
    • On October 10, 2022, an attack was carried out against the Christian village of Nemitoku, in the Macomia region. Homes of civilians were set on fire (Telegram, October 14, 2022).
    The home of a civilian going up in flames in the village of Nemitoku (Telegram, October 14, 2022)
    ‌ ‌The home of a civilian going up in flames in the village of Nemitoku‌ ‌(Telegram, October 14, 2022)
    Mali
    • On October 17, 2022, a mine was activated against a vehicle carrying soldiers of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), while combing the area for mines in Tessalit, in the northeast of the country. Three soldiers were killed. So far, no organization has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it was probably Al-Qaeda (Al-Medina, October 17, 2022).
    • On October 13, 2022, an IED was activated against a bus near the village of Tili, in the Mopti region, in central Mali. A total of 10 civilians were killed and 38 others were wounded. So far, no organization has claimed responsibility for carrying out the attack, but it was probably Al-Qaeda (Al-Mayadeen, October 14, 2022).
    Benin
    • On October 12, 2022, the Benin army ambushed a squad of terrorist operatives, belonging to ISIS or Al-Qaeda, who tried to infiltrate the town of Matéri, about 30 km south of the Benin-Burkina Faso-Togo tri-border area. Eight terrorist operatives were killed in the exchange of fire and their equipment was seized (VOA, October 13, 2022).

    Somalia

    ISIS activity
    • On October 5, 2022, a sticky bomb was activated against a vehicle of a senior Somali police officer in central Mogadishu. He was killed. The vehicle was put out of commission (Telegram, October 5, 2022).
    The Al-Shabaab Organization
    • On October 17, 2022, as part of the expansion of its activity against Al-Qaeda in Somalia, the US Department of the Treasury announced the imposition of sanctions against four senior commanders and five operatives of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab Organization. All nine of them are key people in a network that raises funds from various organizations, including NGOs, and supports Al-Shabaab, thereby helping Al-Shabaab generate revenues worth approximately one hundred million dollars a year, which helped to grow the organization and strengthen its capabilities. One of the operatives is Abdullah Jiri, who is in charge of the procurement of weapons in the organization (VOA, October 17, 2022).
    • The governor of the Hiran Province in central Somalia offered a reward worth $5,000 for killing an Al-Shabaab operative, $10,000 for killing a commander of the organization, and $15,000 for killing a senior member of the organization (VOA, October 17, 2022).
    • The Somali government announced that on October 12, 2022, its military forces foiled an attack by Al-Shabaab operatives against a military base in Hiran. According to the announcement, at least 20 Al-Shabaab operatives were killed and several dozen were wounded. At least three soldiers were killed in the attack (Anatolia News Agency, October 12, 2022).

    Asia[5]

    Afghanistan
    • On October 5, 2022, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest inside a mosque belonging to the Afghan Ministry of the Interior, located in a secure compound near a main road and Kabul International Airport. At that time, ministry employees and visitors were praying there (Associated Press, October 5, 2022). According to the Taliban’s Ministry of the Interior, eight people were killed and 20 others were wounded (ete_plus_news@ete_plus Twitter account, October 5, 2022). According to another source, 25 people were killed and dozens were wounded in the attack. So far, no organization has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it was apparently ISIS (OrientNews, October 5, 2022).
    Destruction sustained by the mosque in the attack (Twitter account of the Dijla satellite channel, October 5, 2022)
    Destruction sustained by the mosque in the attack‌ ‌(Twitter account of the Dijla satellite channel, October 5, 2022)


    On October 17, 2022, a “spy” of the Pakistani government was targeted by gunfire and killed in the Anait Qoli region, in Bajaur, on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border (Telegram, October 17, 2022).

    • On October 11, 2022, an IED was activated against a Taliban vehicle in the Alingar region, about 100 km northeast of Kabul. Seven fighters, including an officer, were killed or wounded. The vehicle was destroyed (Telegram, October 12, 2022).
    • On October 11, 2022, a sticky bomb was activated against a vehicle in which two Taliban commanders were traveling in the Achin region, southeast of Jalalabad in the Nangarhar Province. Both commanders were wounded. The vehicle was put out of commission (Telegram, October 12, 2022).
    • On October 11, 2022, a Taliban “spy” was targeted by gunfire and killed in Kabul (Telegram, October 12, 2022).
    • On October 5, 2022, an IED was activated against a Taliban vehicle in the village of Kamji, in the Watapur region of the Kunar Province, northeast of Jalalabad. The passengers on board were killed or wounded. The vehicle was put out of commission (Telegram, October 8, 2022).
    Pakistan
    • On October 14, 2022, two IEDs were activated against two vehicles in which “spies” who collaborated with Pakistani intelligence were traveling in the village of Kabu, in the Baluchistan Province, about 50 km east of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Three “spies” were killed and six others were wounded. Both vehicles were destroyed (Telegram, October 15, 2022).
    • On October 13, 2022, the workplace of a Pakistani Intelligence “spy” in the village of Kabu was broken into. He was executed and his property was destroyed (Telegram, October 15, 2022).
    • On October 5, 2022, a Pakistani government “spy” was targeted by gunfire in the Mamund area, in the Bajaur region, on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. He was wounded (Telegram, October 5, 2022).

    Europe

    Germany
    • On October 5, 2022, Germany repatriated four women, seven children and a young man who was taken to Syria when he was 11 years old, from the Al-Roj camp, in northeastern Syria, where ISIS operatives’ wives and children are detained. Thus, 26 women, 76 children and a young man have returned to Germany up to now (ABC News, October 5, 2022).
    The United States
    • A US court in California sentenced Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, a 37-year-old Canadian citizen, to 20 years in prison, after he was convicted of helping citizens of the US and Canada join the ranks of ISIS in Syria in 2013-2014. Abdullah was convicted of financing terrorism and abducting and murdering people in Syria. Inter alia, he helped San Diego resident Douglas McAuthur McCain join the ranks of ISIS in Syria. McCain met his death in Syria in August 2014 and was the first US citizen to be killed in the ranks of ISIS (Los Angeles Times, October 17, 2022).

    [1] According to statements issued by ISIS ↑
    [2] According to statements issued by ISIS ↑
    [3] According to ISIS claims of responsibility and the Iraqi media ↑
    [4] According to claims of responsibility issued by ISIS ↑
    [5] According to claims of responsibility issued by ISIS ↑

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    Evarist Chahali

    Evarist Chahali

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