The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center's Spotlight on Global Jihad (September 21-15 , 2022)

    Main events of the week[1]
    • This week, there was relatively limited ISIS activity around the globe.
    • The Sinai Peninsula: In spite of the severe blow sustained by the leadership of ISIS’s Sinai Province, the organization continued its activity and even managed to kill a senior Sinai Tribal Union commander.
    • Syria: ISIS continued to attack the Kurdish forces in the Deir ez-Zor-Al-Mayadeen region and the forces supporting the Syrian army in the Palmyra desert region. The Kurdish forces announced the end of the second stage in their operation against ISIS squads in the Al-Hawl camp.
    • Iraq: A moderate rise in ISIS’s activity in the country.
    • Africa: In Nigeria, there were clashes between operatives of ISIS’s West Africa Province and Boko Haram operatives. In Mozambique, ISIS continued to attack Mozambican army targets and the Christian population in the northeastern part of the country. In Somalia, clashes have intensified between the Somali army and the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab Organization. For the first time, ISIS claimed responsibility for the organization’s activity in Benin.
    The Sinai Peninsula
    ISIS activity
    • On September 19, 2022, an IED was activated near the home of Hamid al-Wat, a Sinai Tribal Union senior commander who is also a leader of the Al-Tarabin Bedouin tribe in northern Sinai. Al-Wat was killed instantly. According to another version, he was shot dead by ISIS operatives at his home (Telegram, September 19, 2022).
    • On September 17, 2022, seven Egyptian soldiers were reportedly killed in Sinai. The circumstances were not specified but it can be estimated that it happened in clashes with ISIS operatives. The report was no longer available on the Internet several hours later (Sinaa al-Aan Facebook page, September 17, 2022).
    • On September 16, 2022, it was reported that an Egyptian soldier had been killed in the Jalbanah region, in the northwestern Sinai Peninsula, about 20 km east of the Suez Canal (Telegram, September 16, 2022).
    Counterterrorism activity
    • In view of the extensive activity by the Egyptian security forces in the Jalbanah region during the past month, on September 19, 2022, two ISIS operatives turned themselves in to the Egyptian security forces (Sinaa Mubasher Facebook page, September 19, 2022). During searches by the Egyptian security forces in the southwestern part of Jalbanah on September 17, 2022, two ISIS operatives were killed in an exchange of fire with the forces (Sinaa Mubasher Facebook page, September 17, 2022).
    The Syrian arena
    Syria’s provinces (freeworldmaps.net)
    Syria’s provinces (freeworldmaps.net)
    Idlib region
    • On September 20, 2022, a Syrian soldier was killed and two others were wounded in exchanges of fire between the rebel forces and the Syrian army (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, September 20, 2022).
    Deir ez-Zor-Al-Mayadeen region[2]
    • On September 18, 2022, machine guns and RPG rockets were fired at an SDF checkpoint in the village of Al-Wahid, north of Deir ez-Zor. Several fighters were wounded (Telegram, September 19, 2022).
    • On September 18, 2022, two SDF fighters were targeted by gunfire in the Kisra region, near Deir ez-Zor. One fighter was killed and the other was wounded (Telegram, September 19, 2022).
    • On September 18, 2022, an SDF “spy” was targeted by gunfire in the Suwaidan region, near Deir ez-Zor. He was wounded (Telegram, September 19, 2022).
    • On September 17, 2022, a “spy” of the US-led Global Coalition was targeted by gunfire in the village of Hariza, near Al-Basira, about 15 km north of Al-Mayadeen. He was killed (Telegram, September 17, 2022).
    • On September 13, 2022, an SDF water tanker was targeted by gunfire in the Al-Basira region. One fighter was killed and another was wounded (Telegram, September 13, 2022).
    • On September 13, 2022, an SDF checkpoint was targeted by gunfire near Al-Basira. One fighter was killed. ISIS claimed responsibility for the incident (Telegram, September 13, 2022).
    The desert region
    • On September 13, 2022, four fighters loyal to the Syrian regime were killed and several others were wounded in exchanges of fire between ISIS and forces loyal to the Syrian regime in the desert region near Palmyra (Al-Araby al-Jadeed, September 14, 2022). It should be noted that pro-Iranian militias operate in this area and the casualties may have been militia operatives.
    • On September 13, 2022, a checkpoint of the Fatemiyoun Brigade, a pro-Iranian militia whose fighters are Shiite Afghans, was attacked about 50 km east of Palmyra (Al-Araby al-Jadeed, September 14, 2022).
    Al-Raqqah region
    • On September 15, 2022, an IED was activated against a Syrian army vehicle west of the Tabqa airfield. No casualties were reported but the vehicle was damaged (Telegram, September 16, 2022).
    Al-Hasakah region
    • On September 17, 2022, the Kurdish forces declared that although the second stage of the operation to locate ISIS operatives in the Al-Hawl camp ended, they would continue to fight against ISIS squads in the camp. According to the Kurdish forces, during the second stage, which began on August 25, 2022, they arrested 226 people suspected of activity as part of ISIS, including 36 women accused of murder and terrorist activity (kurdistan24, September 17, 2022). During the operation, two Kurdish fighters were killed, and women held prisoner by ISIS in the camp were liberated, including two Yazidi women (Asharq al-Awsat; Sky News, September 17, 2022). In addition, weapons, equipment, cell phones, ISIS propaganda material, and an ISIS flag were found in the camp (the SDF Facebook page, September 17, 2022).
    Items found during the operation
    Items found during the operation


    An ISIS-affiliated digital support group named Sarh al-Khilafah released a video documenting the execution of six SDF fighters by ISIS. The execution was presented in the video as revenge for the Kurdish forces’ activity against the ISIS operatives in the Al-Hawl camp. The video also conveyed a message to ISIS’s female prisoners that the organization would not forget them and would do everything in its power to liberate them (I’lam, September 17, 2022).

    The beginning of the documentation of the execution of the six SDF fighters (I’lam, September 17, 2022)
    The beginning of the documentation of the execution of the six SDF fighters (I’lam, September 17, 2022)
    Women held in the Al-Hawl camp expressing ISIS’s ideology, alongside their children.
    Women held in the Al-Hawl camp expressing ISIS’s ideology, alongside their children. (I’lam, September 17, 2022)
    The Iraqi arena
    Provinces of Iraq (Wikipedia)
    Provinces of Iraq (Wikipedia)

    ISIS attacks by province[3]

    Nineveh Province
    • On September 16, 2022, rockets were fired at houses of Popular Mobilization fighters in the Khadr region south of Mosul. One of the houses was damaged (Telegram, September 17, 2022).
    Kirkuk Province
    • On September 16, 2022, an IED was activated against an Iraqi police vehicle in the Rashad region, about 40 km southwest of the city of Kirkuk. The vehicle was put out of commission and the passengers on board were wounded (Telegram, September 16, 2022).
    Salah al-Din Province
    • On September 16, 2022, a civilian was shot to death in the Tarmiyah region, about 30 km north of Baghdad (Al-Sumaria, September 16, 2022).
    • On September 14, 2022, an IED was activated in an office used by the Tribal Mobilization forces in the Al-Khan al-Qadim area in Tarmiyah. Three fighters were wounded and the office was damaged (Telegram, September 16, 2022).
    • On September 14, 2022, there was an exchange of fire in Baiji between a Popular Mobilization force and ISIS operatives. Several fighters were wounded and several vehicles were put out of commission (Telegram, September 16, 2022).
    Al-Anbar Province
    • On September 16, 2022, a Tribal Mobilization patrol was attacked west of the city of Rawa. One fighter was killed and several others were wounded. Several vehicles were damaged (Telegram, September 18, 2022).

    Counterterrorism activity

    Baghdad Province
    • The Iraqi security forces in Baghdad detained an ISIS commander and his four escorts who were attempting to infiltrate a group of Shiite pilgrims preparing to leave Baghdad for Karbala (Aram News, September 14, 2022).
    Nineveh Province
    • On September 18, 2022, a joint Iraqi army and Popular Mobilization force attacked an ISIS position in the Khadr region. Eight ISIS operatives and two Popular Mobilization fighters were killed in the exchange of fire (Khaliyat al-I’lam al-Amni Twitter account, September 18, 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 8 and September 14, 2022, indicates that the organization carried out 28 attacks in its various provinces around the globe (compared to 50 in the previous week). The largest number of attacks was carried out by ISIS’s West Africa Province (10). Attacks carried out in the other provinces: Mozambique (6); Central Africa (4); Iraq (3); Khorasan, i.e., Afghanistan (3); and Syria (2). A total of 62 people were killed or wounded in the attacks, compared to 150 in the previous week. The largest number of casualties was in the West Africa Province (20). The other casualties were in the following provinces: Khorasan, i.e., Afghanistan (15); Mozambique (11); Syria (7); Central Africa (6); and Iraq (3) (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, September 15, 2022).
    Summary of ISIS attacks (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, September 15, 2022)
    Summary of ISIS attacks (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, September 15, 2022)
    ISIS attacks by week (according to ISIS data)
    ISIS attacks by week (according to ISIS data)

    Africa

    First announcement on activity in Benin
    • ISIS’s weekly Al-Naba published an infographic summing up ISIS activity in the Sahel region in Africa between July 5 and September 6, 2022. According to the infographic, the organization’s operatives carried out eight attacks in Mali and Benin, in which 151 people were killed and wounded, including 69 Malian soldiers, seven Benin soldiers, and local militia fighters. The weekly also mentioned two other previous attacks carried out by the province operatives against patrols of the Benin security forces, on July 1 and 2, 2022, in which six soldiers were killed. This was the first time ISIS claimed responsibility for activity in Benin. It is probably an expansion of the organization’s activity from Burkina Faso and Niger (Al-Naba, Telegram, September 15, 2022).
    The infographic describing ISIS’s achievements in the Sahel region in Africa (Al-Naba, Telegram, September 15, 2022)
    The infographic describing ISIS’s achievements in the Sahel region in Africa (Al-Naba, Telegram, September 15, 2022)

    Nigeria

    ISIS activity
    • On September 19, 2022, an attack was carried out against the Christian village of Biljum, in Borno State, in northeastern Nigeria. Two civilians were shot dead and a church was set on fire (Telegram, September 20, 2022).
    • On September 18, 2022, an IED was activated against a Nigerian army vehicle near the town of Katavila, in Borno State. Passengers on board were wounded (Telegram, September 19, 2022).
    Clashes between ISIS and Boko Haram
    • On September 18, 2022, it was reported that 29 operatives on both sides were killed in clashes between operatives of ISIS’s West Africa Province and Boko Haram operatives in the Bama region of Borno State, in northeastern Nigeria (thecable.ng, September 18, 2022). In addition, two days earlier, on September 16, 2022, it was reported that operatives of ISIS’s West Africa Province had attacked a group of Boko Haram operatives in Borno State and that 23 Boko Haram operatives were killed in the attack (pulse.ng, September 16, 2022).
    The Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • On September 14, 2022, a Congolese army vehicle was ambushed on the Mbau-Kamanjo road, about 40 km north of Beni, near the Congo-Nigeria border. An officer was killed (Telegram, September 14, 2022).
    Mozambique
    • Operatives of ISIS’s Mozambique Province continued to attack Christian civilians and Mozambican army targets in the northeast of the country. Following are the main incidents:
    • On September 15, 2022, in an exchange of fire between ISIS operatives and a joint force of the Mozambican army and an international African force in the village of Quinto, in the Macomia region, in northeastern Mozambique, 19 soldiers of the joint force were killed. Weapons and ammunition were seized and two vehicles were set on fire (Telegram, September 19, 2022).
    • On September 15, 2022, a Mozambican army camp was attacked in the village of Nakawi, in the Macomia region. Sixteen Mozambican soldiers were killed in the exchange of fire. Weapons and ammunition were seized and the camp was set on fire (Telegram, September 16, 2022).
    ISIS operatives setting fire to the camp in the village of Nakawi (Telegram, September 20, 2022)
    ISIS operatives setting fire to the camp in the village of Nakawi (Telegram, September 20, 2022)


    On September 13, 2022, an attack was carried out against the Christian village of Ishibawa, in Cabo Delgado Province. Five civilians, including the head of the village, were killed. Nine homes and a church were set on fire (Telegram, September 15, 2022).

    • On September 11, 2022, an attack was carried out against the Christian village of Yuncombini, on the island of Namba, in Cabo Delgado Province. A church and the home of a monk were set on fire (Telegram, September 16, 2022).
    Somalia
    • The clashes between the Somali army and the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab movement have intensified. The frequent clashes indicate the Somali government’s fear that the Al-Shabaab organization will increase its activity in Somalia and abroad, especially in light of the economic crisis and the widespread famine in the country. Following are the main incidents:
    • On September 19, 2022, the Somali army announced that 45 Al-Shabaab operatives had been killed in clashes in central Somalia (Reuters, September 19, 2022).
    • According to a report from September 17, 2022, at least 30 Al-Shabaab operatives were killed by the Somali army in central Somalia and 10 Al-Shabaab operatives were detained in Mogadishu (EFE Agency, September 17, 2022).
    • According to an announcement by the Somali army from September 12, 2022, it has taken control over 20 villages that were under the control of the Al-Shabaab movement in the Hiran region, in central Somalia. More than 100 Al-Shabaab operatives were killed in the clashes (VOA, September 12, 2022; guardian.ng, September 12, 2022).
    • ISIS carried out two attacks on a limited scale in Somalia this week:
    • On September 15, 2022, an IED was activated against the vehicle of a Somali intelligence officer in the city of Mogadishu. He was wounded (Telegram, September 16, 2022).
    • On September 14, 2022, a hand grenade was thrown at a Somali army force in the city of Afgoye. A soldier was wounded (Telegram, September 17, 2022).

    Asia

    Afghanistan
    • On September 17, 2022, a Taliban member was targeted by gunfire in the village of Nu Abad in the Takhar Province, in northeastern Afghanistan. He was killed (Telegram, September 18, 2022).
    • On September 16, 2022, a Taliban member was targeted by gunfire in the village of Alnak in the Takhar Province. He was killed (Telegram, September 18, 2022).
    • On September 16, 2022, a Taliban convoy was ambushed and targeted by gunfire in the Suki region of Kunar Province. Two Taliban commanders were killed and several others were wounded (Telegram, September 18, 2022).
    Pakistan
    • On September 20, 2022, two Pakistani intelligence officers were targeted by gunfire in the city of Peshawar, near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. One of the intelligence officers was killed and the other was wounded (Telegram, September 20, 2022).
    • On September 19, 2022, an IED was activated against a group of Pakistani soldiers who were locating mines in the village of Jankazi in the Mamund region, near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. One soldier was killed and another was wounded (Telegram, September 20, 2022).
    • On September 19, 2022, a patrol of fighters of the counterterrorism unit was targeted by gunfire in the city of Quetta, in western Pakistan. Two soldiers were wounded (Telegram, September 19, 2022).
    • On September 16, 2022, a Pakistan Police vehicle in Peshawar was targeted by gunfire and a hand grenade. Three policemen were wounded and the vehicle was damaged (Telegram, September 17, 2022).
    Yemen
    • According to a report by Yemen’s security forces, they have managed to drive Al-Qaeda operatives away from mountainous areas in the Abyan Province, which were used as the organization’s strongholds (arabnews.com, September 15, 2022). On the same day, it was reported that a local militia loyal to the Yemeni army had recorded achievements in its fight against Al-Qaeda operatives in the Shabwah Province (YPA, September 15, 2022).
    Saudi Arabia
    • The Saudi Ministry of Interior announced that 81 ISIS and Al-Qaeda operatives had been executed after being convicted of terrorist activity (arabnews.com, September 13, 2022).
    The battle for hearts and minds
    • The editorial of this week’s issue of ISIS’s Al-Naba weekly was entitled “The distinction between the truth [i.e., Islam] and the lie [of the infidels],[4] and the devils’ wishes.” The article criticizes commentators and analysts around the globe who claim that ISIS is in a decline. According to the author, these analysts and commentators analyze reality according to their wishes since they strive to destroy ISIS and work to deliberately undermine it. Accordingly, the author stresses the importance of ISIS’s media activity which, in his opinion, is another battlefield in addition to the battlefield (fighting on the ground). The author apparently raises the issue in light of the recent release of an audiotape of ISIS’s spokesman, which received comments around the world claiming that the spokesman’s words reflect ISIS’s weakness following the recent blows that it has been dealt (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, September 15, 2022).
    The editorial on the importance of media activity (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, September 15, 2022)
    The editorial on the importance of media activity (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, September 15, 2022)
    ISIS has expanded its media activity in Africa over the past year
    • According to the findings of a study carried out by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, headquartered in London. ISIS has expanded its activity on social media over the past year, especially in Africa. According to the study, over the past year, there has been an increase in the number of ISIS accounts and in the content that it disseminated on social media. This is evident in its increasing use of African languages, especially the Hausa language, which is spoken in West Africa, mainly in northern Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Benin, and Ghana (isdglobal.org, September 7, 2022)[5].

    [1] The bulletin will not be issued next week due to Rosh Hashanah. We wish all our readers a Happy Jewish New Year. ↑
    [2] According to ISIS claims of responsibility and the Iraqi media ↑
    [3] According to ISIS claims of responsibility and the Iraqi media ↑
    [4] In the original: Al-Furqan, meaning the distinction between the truth represented by Islam, and the lie of the infidels. It should be noted that Al-Furqan is also one of the names given to the Quran because it is perceived as a guide to the truth of Islam and the distinction between Islam and the beliefs of the infidels. ↑
    [5] https://www.isdglobal.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/The-Terror-Times-The-Depth-and-Breadth-of-the-Islamic-State-Alternative-News-Outlet-Ecosystem-Online.pdf

    SOURCE: The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center

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