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

    Main events of the past week
    • The relatively low level of ISIS activity around the world continued. Most of the activity focused on the Sinai Peninsula and Africa.
    • The Sinai Peninsula: This week, the Egyptian army and the Sinai Tribal Union continued to mop up the region west of Rafah and the Sheikh Zuweid region from the presence of ISIS operatives. Both sides suffered losses.
    • Syria: After relative calm over the past month, clashes between Kurdish SDF and ISIS forces resumed in Deir ez-Zor-Al-Mayadeen, Al-Hasakah and Al-Raqqah.
    • Iraq: The number of ISIS attacks remained relatively low. As in recent weeks, the attacks were concentrated in the Diyala and Kirkuk provinces.
    • Afghanistan: According to an announcement by a Taliban spokesman, Afghan security forces killed at least eight senior operatives of ISIS’s Khorasan Province on the organization’s base in the city of Taloqan, in the Takhar Province in the north of the country.
    • Africa: ISIS continued to operate at relatively high intensity in Nigeria, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At least 100 civilians were killed in northern Burkina Faso, near the border with Niger, apparently by elements affiliated with ISIS or Al-Qaeda.
    • UN Secretary General António Guterres addressed the latest meeting of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact. According to Mr. Guterres, while the number of deaths from terrorism has declined, the overall threat is far from over. According to him, the terrorism threat in Africa is increasing. The main elements responsible for that are Al-Qaeda, ISIS and their affiliates. According to Mr. Guterres, Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 48 per cent of deaths attributed to terrorist groups globally last year. He added that the terrorist elements are exploiting power vacuums, longstanding inter-ethnic strife, internal weaknesses and state fragilities in Africa to expand their grip in the continent. He praised the Nigerian government for its fight against terrorism in Borno State, in the northeast of the country, noting that the region is now on the road to reconciliation and reintegration (news.un.org, June 8, 2022).
    The Sinai Peninsula
    • The Egyptian army and the Sinai Tribal Union continued mopping up the Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid region. There were several clashes with ISIS operatives, resulting in casualties for both sides.
    • On June 9, 2022, the Egyptian army and the Sinai Tribal Union waged a battle with ISIS west of Rafah, killing a group of ISIS operatives. At the same time, it was reported that a Sinai Tribal Union fighter was killed (Akhbar Sinaa al-Aan Facebook page, June 5, 2022). ISIS’s Sinai Province referred to the incident, saying that its operatives exchanged fire with a Sinai Tribal Union patrol west of Rafah, killing one Sinai Tribal Union fighter and wounding several others. ISIS did not mention any casualties in its ranks (Telegram, June 10, 2022).
    • The following day, June 10, 2022, there were heavy exchanges of fire between Egyptian security forces and ISIS in the western region of Rafah. A large number of ISIS operatives were reportedly killed or wounded (the exact figure was not specified) and three ISIS vehicles were destroyed (Akhbar Sinaa al-Aan Facebook page, June 10, 2022). Subsequently, ISIS’s Sinai Province announced that on June 11, 2022, its operatives exchanged fire with a Sinai Tribal Union patrol west of Rafah, killing two fighters and wounding several others (Telegram, June 11, 2022). At the same time, it was reported that the bodies of two soldiers killed in the Rafah region were brought to the Al-Arish Hospital (Manassat al-Ahram al-Ikhbariya, June 11, 2022). In addition, according to local sources, three Sinai Tribal Union fighters were killed fighting against ISIS, apparently in the abovementioned incidents (Akhbar Sinaa al-Aan Facebook page, June 11, 2022).
    • On June 13, 2022, it was reported that three Egyptian soldiers, including a captain, were killed west of Rafah (Twitter account of the Sinai Foundation for Human Rights, June 13, 2022). ISIS’s Sinai Province announced that its operatives had exchanged fire with an Egyptian army patrol west of Rafah and activated IEDs against it. According to ISIS, an officer and two soldiers were killed and several others were wounded (Telegram, June 14, 2022).
    • According to local sources, on June 12, 2022, the Egyptian Air Force carried out an airstrike, killing six ISIS operatives west of Rafah (Akhbar Sinaa al-Aan Facebook page, June 12, 2022).
    • Abduction of 15 Sinai residents: According to the newspaper Al-Araby al-Jadeed, tribal sources told it that on June 9, 2022, a total of 15 Sinai residents had been abducted by ISIS operatives in the Al-Amouriya region, south of Bir al-Abd (Al-Araby al-Jadeed, June 10, 2022). The Sinai Tribal Union referred to it as a false report, saying that the newspaper is biased in favor of ISIS, which is suffering severe blows from the Egyptian security forces (Sinai Tribal Union’s Facebook page, June 11, 2022). Several hours later, the newspaper reported that the 15 people had been released (Al-Araby al-Jadeed, June 11, 2022). It is not clear how credible this report has been from the start.
    • ISIS’s Sinai Province announced that on June 14, 2022, its operatives had activated an IED against a joint patrol of the Egyptian army and the Sinai Tribal Union in the Bir al-Abd region and that an Egyptian officer and a Sinai Tribal Union fighter had been killed and several others wounded (Telegram, June 14, 2022).
    The Syrian arena
    Map of the Syrian provinces (freeworldmaps.net)
    Map of the Syrian provinces (freeworldmaps.net)
    The Idlib region
    • On June 10-13, 2022, the Syrian army fired artillery at the rebel forces in the rural area of Idlib. One rebel fighter was killed and four others were wounded (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, June 10-13, 2022).
    The desert region (Al-Badia)
    • On June 10-11, 2022, the Russian Air Force attacked various ISIS targets in the desert region (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, June 10-11, 2022).
    The Deir ez-Zor-Al-Mayadeen region
    • On June 13, 2022, armed men, apparently ISIS operatives, shot and wounded an SDF fighter in the rural area of Deir ez-Zor (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, June 13, 2022). The day before, armed men shot and killed the SDF commander of the civil security force in the city of Al-Basira, about 15 km north of Al-Mayadeen (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, June 12, 2022).
    • On June 12, 2022, ISIS operatives shot and killed an interrogator of the SDF forces in the Al-Basira region, about 15 km north of Al-Mayadeen (Telegram, June 12, 2022).
    • ISIS’s Syria Province announced that on June 10, 2022, its operatives had shot to death two SDF fighters in the Al-Basira region (Telegram, June 10, 2022).
    • An SDF force, with air support by the Global Coalition against ISIS, detained a senior ISIS operative in the desert region north of Deir ez-Zor. No additional details were provided about the detainee (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, June 12, 2022).
    The Al-Hasakah region
    • On June 12, 2022, SDF forces detained three members of an ISIS squad engaged in funding the organization in the village of Al-Hawl, in Al-Hasakah’s southern rural area (SDF PRESS, June 12, 2022).
    Three squad members detained in Al-Hawl (SDF PRESS, June 12, 2022)
    Three squad members detained in Al-Hawl (SDF PRESS, June 12, 2022)


    On June 10, 2022, an SDF force, supported by US forces, killed a senior ISIS operative in the Al-Shadadi region, south of Al-Hasakah. The operative was in charge of raising funds for ISIS and distributing them to the organization’s operatives and their families, and was also in charge of ISIS’s propaganda activity (Kurdistan24, June 10, 2022).

    • On June 9, 2022, SDF Special Forces thwarted an ISIS attempt to smuggle wives of Iraqi ISIS operatives held in the Al-Hawl Camp, in Al-Hasakah’s southern rural area. The operatives fled and the women involved were sent to prison in Al-Hasakah (Akhbar Al-Aan, June 9, 2022).
    Al-Raqqah Province
    • SDF Special Forces detained eight ISIS operatives in Al-Raqqah’s periphery (Kurdistan24, June 11, 2022)
    The Iraqi arena
    Provinces of Iraq (Wikipedia)
    Provinces of Iraq (Wikipedia)
    ISIS attacks by province[1]
    • This week as well, ISIS’s attacks remained relatively few in number.
    Diyala Province
    • On June 5, 2022, an Iraqi police post was attacked in the Al-Waqf region, about 15 km northeast of Baqubah. A policeman was wounded (Telegram, June 6, 2022).
    Kirkuk Province
    • An Iraqi police post was targeted by gunfire in the Daquq area, in the south of Kirkuk. One policeman was wounded (Telegram, June 7, 2022).
    • The economic war – setting fire to grain: On June 5, 2022, ISIS operatives set fire to grain belonging to a local police officer in the Rashad region, about 40 km southwest of Kirkuk (Telegram, June 6, 2022). This was part of ISIS’s economic war against the Iraqi government.
    Nineveh Province
    • On June 11, 2022, ISIS operatives activated an IED against a vehicle of the Iraqi Oil Ministry’s security network near the Al-Ayadhiya region, in west Mosul. Two of the passengers were wounded (Telegram, June 12, 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 June 2 and June 8, 2022, indicates that the organization carried out 33 attacks in its various provinces around the globe (compared to 36 in the previous week). The largest number of attacks was carried out in the Iraq Province (12). Attacks carried out in the other provinces: West Africa (9); Khorasan, i.e., Afghanistan (6); Mozambique (2); Central Africa (2); Sinai (1); and Somalia (1). A total of 79 people were killed or wounded in the attacks, compared to 84 in the previous week. The largest number of casualties was in the West Africa Province (25). The other casualties were in the following provinces: Central Africa (20); Iraq (16); Khorasan (13); Sinai (4); and Somalia (1) (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, June 9, 2022).
    • The infographic indicates that ISIS’s activity was similar to that of the previous week, except for Syria, where no activity was recorded.
    Summary of ISIS attacks (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, June 9, 2022)
    Summary of ISIS attacks (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, June 9, 2022)
    ISIS attacks by week (according to ISIS data)
    ISIS attacks by week (according to ISIS data)
    Africa
    • ISIS’s West Africa Province released a 39-minute video in a local language (apparently Swahili) with Arabic subtitles, documenting terrorist attacks by its operatives and conveying a propaganda message that ISIS will continue its jihadi activity, fight against the infidels, expand its control, and impose Islamic law (sharia). The video shows preaching activity (da’wa) among the residents, the establishment of a morality police force (Hisba) and the distribution of funds. The video was apparently shot in Borno State, in northeastern Nigeria (Telegram, June 14, 2022).
    Preaching among the residents (Telegram, June 14, 2022)
    Left: Preaching among the residents (Telegram, June 14, 2022)
    Documentation of an attack against the Nigerian army.
    Documentation of an attack against the Nigerian army (Telegram, June 14, 2022)


    Right: Documentation of an attack against the Nigerian army. Left: Preaching among the residents (Telegram, June 14, 2022)

    Distribution of financial aid to the residents in an attempt to garner support (Telegram, June 14, 2022)
    Distribution of financial aid to the residents in an attempt to garner support (Telegram, June 14, 2022)
    The activity of ISIS's morality police.
    Right: The activity of ISIS’s morality police (Telegram, June 14, 2022)


    Right: The activity of ISIS’s morality police. Left: Distribution of financial aid to the residents in an attempt to garner support (Telegram, June 14, 2022)

    Nigeria
    • This week, ISIS continued to operate at relatively high intensity.
    • According to an announcement by ISIS’s West Africa Province, on June 10, 2022, operatives activated two IEDs against two Nigerian army patrol vehicles in the Malam Fatori region, in the Nigeria-Niger border area in northeastern Nigeria. Five soldiers were killed and at least six others were wounded (Telegram, June 12, 2022).
    • On June 9, 2022, armed men, apparently ISIS or Boko Haram operatives, killed 25 residents of the village of Boboshe Mukdala, in Borno State, in northeastern Nigeria. According to eyewitnesses, the armed men arrived at the village by motorcycle and fired at metal miners in a nearby forest (Reuters, June 10, 2022). In this context, the Borno State Police Commissioner noted that in the past three weeks, 50 metal miners in Borno State had been killed in a number of attacks by Boko Haram operatives (gazettengr.com, June 11, 2022). It can be estimated that the organization is suffering from a lack of income and is attempting to take over the mining industry in Borno State.
    • On June 9, 2022, Nigeria’s Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola announced that operatives of ISIS’s West Africa Province were responsible for an attack on June 5, 2022, on a Catholic church in the southern Nigerian town of Owo, in Ondo State, in which 38 people were killed by indiscriminate gunfire. Until this announcement, it was not clear who was behind the massacre at the church (dailypost.ng, June 9, 2022).
    • According to a belated announcement by ISIS’s West Africa Province, on June 7, 2022, its operatives abducted 35 fighters of a militia loyal to the Nigerian army on suspicion of spying on ISIS operatives. They were abducted near the town of Dikwa, about 50 km from the Nigeria-Cameroon border, in Borno State in northeastern Nigeria. All 35 abductees were executed (Telegram, June 12, 2022).
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • ISIS’s West Africa Province carried out several attacks against the Congolese and Ugandan[2] armies in the border area between the two countries. Several Ugandan soldiers were killed or wounded.
    • Attacks against Christian residents: According to an announcement by ISIS’s Central Africa Province, on June 5, 2022, its operatives fired at Christian residents in the village of Otombiri, in the Ituri region in northeastern Congo. Around 20 Christians were killed and houses were set on fire (Telegram, June 6, 2022).
    Mozambique
    • ISIS’s Mozambique Province continued to attack Christian villages in the Cabo Delgado Province, in northeastern Mozambique. Several villages were attacked, at least a dozen residents were murdered and dozens of homes were set on fire.
    • Attack against the Mozambican army: On June 10, 2022, operatives of ISIS’s Mozambique Province fired at a Mozambican army patrol near a village in the Macomia region of the Cabo Delgado Province. Two soldiers were killed and several others were wounded. Weapons and ammunition were seized (Telegram, June 10, 2022).
    Burkina Faso
    • On June 11, 2022, at least 100 civilians were killed in an attack by armed men, apparently ISIS or Al-Qaeda operatives, in northern Burkina Faso, near the border with Niger. According to eyewitnesses, the armed men executed the men and left the women and children alive (Reuters, June 13, 2022). This is the latest in a series of similar terrorist attacks in the region by elements affiliated with ISIS and Al-Qaeda.
    Niger
    • On June 11, 2022, operatives of ISIS’s West Africa Province attacked a Nigerien army post in the Diffa region, in the southeast of the country, on the Niger-Nigeria border. A Nigerien army vehicle was destroyed in the exchange of fire. Four of the soldiers on board were killed and several others were wounded. The rest fled the post. ISIS operatives seized weapons and ammunition (Telegram, June 12, 2022).
    Chad
    • According to a belated announcement by ISIS’s West Africa Province, on June 7, 2022, its operatives activated two IEDs against a Chadian army convoy on the Kiga-Negubu road in the Lake Chad region. The convoy was then targeted by machine gun fire. According to ISIS, 14 soldiers were killed and 25 others were wounded (Telegram, June 12, 2022).
    Libya
    • According to an announcement by the Libyan army, on June 8, 2022, it repulsed two attacks by armed men in the south of the country. The Libyan army estimated that ISIS operatives had been behind the attacks. In the first incident, armed men attacked a military force at the southern entrance to the city of Al-Qatrun. The force returned fire and repulsed the attackers. One soldier was seriously wounded. In the second incident, a company commander was targeted by gunfire at the entrance to an army base in the Umm al-Aranib region, about 760 km southeast of Tripoli. It should be noted that for the past two weeks, the Libyan army has been carrying out an operation to improve the security situation in the south of the country (Al-Ayn al-Ikhbariya, June 8, 2022).

    Asia

    Afghanistan
    • Counterterrorism: According to a Taliban spokesman, Afghan security forces killed at least eight senior operatives of ISIS’s Khorasan Province and detained three others at the organization’s compound in the city of Taloqan, in the Takhar Province in the north of the country. The compound served as a center for funding, supplying equipment and training the province’s operatives (VOA, June 11, 2022).
    • Propaganda: The media arm of ISIS’s Khorasan Province, Al-Aza’em, published a 55-page pamphlet in the Pashto language, harshly criticizing the Taliban government for failing to take steps against the Indian government, in the wake of the abusive statements made by two members of the ruling party against the Prophet Muhammad (@SaleemMehsud Twitter account, June 9, 2022).
    The front page of the pamphlet published by ISIS’s Al-Aza’em Foundation (@SaleemMehsud Twitter account, June 9, 2022)
    The front page of the pamphlet published by ISIS’s Al-Aza’em Foundation (@SaleemMehsud Twitter account, June 9, 2022)‌‌
    Pakistan
    • According to an announcement by ISIS’s Khorasan Province, on June 11, 2022, its operatives threw four hand grenades at a Pakistani police post in the Bajaur region, in the west of the country, on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Two policemen were wounded and the post was damaged (Telegram, June 12, 2022).
    India
    • Indian security forces detained at least five suspects at several sites in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu on suspicion of having ties with ISIS and, in particular, fundraising for the organization (Republic TV Indian channel, June 9, 2022).
    Tajikistan
    • Financing terror: A new Telegram channel in Tajik, Arabic and Russian, calling itself “Devotion and Loyalty” (in Tajik), has begun raising funds for ISIS’s Khorasan Province and for families of ISIS operatives held in Syrian and Iraqi detention camps. It appears that many of the donors are from Russia, or that Russians are the channel’s preferred target audience. According to a report, on June 12, 2022, instructions were published on how to transfer money from Sberbank in Russia using the QIWI platform, which is the largest Russian money transfer platform (Eurasian, June 13, 2022).
    The United States
    • Allison Fluke-Ekren, a US citizen who had commanded a force of about 100 female ISIS operatives in Syria and was extradited to the US in January 2022, faces up to 20 years in prison as part of a plea bargain. She told the court that she had converted to Islam, moved to Syria in 2014 with her children, joining her Muslim husband who had arrived in Syria two years previously, where he commanded an ISIS sniper unit. She later held a senior position at the welfare office for ISIS widows in Iraq. She then became the commander of ISIS’s female fighters force in Syria, providing weapons training to women and girls, until she was captured by Kurdish forces in the summer of 2021. This is the first time the US has prosecuted a female terrorist who was a senior ISIS operative (AP and BBC, June 8, 2022).
    The battle for hearts and minds
    • The editorial of this week’s edition of ISIS’s Al-Naba weekly, which is entitled “One End and Divided Countries,” discusses the decision by the members of the Global Coalition against ISIS at a conference in Marrakesh last month (June 11, 2022) to resume the fighting against ISIS in Africa as part of a unique task force of the Coalition (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, June 9, 2022).
    • The author expresses contempt for the decision, claiming that it is doomed to failure, like the failure experienced by the Coalition in Syria and Iraq. He further claims that the decision made at the conference indicates that all previous announcements by the Coalition regarding its victory over ISIS are false. ISIS is expanding its influence in Africa, while Western countries are suffering from severe political, economic and security problems, especially recently, due to the Russia-Ukraine war.
    • The author claims that during the conference, the “tyrants” repeatedly called for action against ISIS at three main levels: fighting its operatives in the border regions while preventing migration between countries, acting against its propaganda, and preventing terrorist financing. Therefore, the author notes that ISIS’s operatives must redouble their efforts on these levels. He also emphasizes the need for migration (Hijrah) to the jihadi arenas in Africa.
    • The author concludes the article by claiming that ISIS has “succeeded in exporting jihad” to every corner of the earth, with the aim of imposing Islamic law (sharia) throughout the world. In addition, he notes that ISIS is currently expanding in Africa and operating in both Africa and Asia, fighting against the infidels who will eventually experience defeat and failure (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, June 9, 2022).
    The text of the article (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, June 9, 2022)
    The text of the article (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, June 9, 2022)
    Appendix
    Additional ISIS attacks (according to ISIS’s claims of responsibility)
    Nigeria
    • On June 8, 2022, an IED was activated against a Nigerian army patrol between the towns of Katafila and Mararaba. Several soldiers were wounded (Telegram, June 9, 2022).
    • On July 7, 2022, a Nigerian army camp was attacked in the village of Banki, about 2.5 km southwest of Jakana, about 90 km southeast of Maiduguri (Telegram, June 9, 2022).
    • On June 6, 2022, a fighter of one of the militias supporting the Nigerian army was abducted near the town of Jakana (Telegram, June 10, 2022).
    • On June 6, 2022, fighters of militias supporting the Nigerian army were targeted by gunfire near the village of Buni Yadi, about 50 km south of Damaturu, the capital of Yobe State. Five fighters were killed and two others were abducted (Telegram, June 10, 2022).
    Mozambique
    • Several Christian villages were attacked in the province of Cabo Delgado, in the northeast of the country (Telegram):
    • On June 14, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked the villages of Makani and Mikavalini in the province of Cabo Delgado, killed two residents and set fire to a church.
    • On June 13, 2022, a villager in the Mankavabi region was abducted and beheaded.
    • On June 12, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked the village of Muiruta and set fire to a church and 56 homes. The residents fled.
    • On June 12, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked the village of Ritini, killed two residents and set fire to a church and about 70 homes.
    • On June 11, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked the village of Natobili, beheaded four residents and set fire to a church.
    • On June 9, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked the village of Namilombi, in the Macomia region. Two residents were killed and 20 homes were set on fire.
    • On June 7, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked the village of Hashai, in the Macomia region. The residents fled. Homes were set on fire and ammunition was seized.
    The Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • ISIS’s Central Africa – Congo Province carried out several attacks against the armies of Congo and Uganda, in the border area between the two countries (Telegram):
    • On June 13, 2022, a Congolese army position was attacked in the Beni region, about 50 km from the Congo-Uganda border. Three soldiers were killed and the others fled. ISIS operatives seized weapons and ammunition.
    • On June 11, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked a Congolese army compound in the village of Friman, seized weapons and set fire to the compound.
    • On June 9, 2022, a Ugandan army patrol was attacked in the village of Lusilusi (in the Beni region). Several soldiers were killed and wounded.
    • On June 8, 2022, a Ugandan army patrol was targeted by gunfire in the village of Kenya Mabahuli, in the Rwenzori region. Several soldiers were killed and wounded.
    • On June 8, 2022, a Ugandan army patrol attempting to advance towards ISIS positions near the village of Lusilusi was targeted by gunfire. Several soldiers were killed and wounded.
    Afghanistan
    • The following are attacks carried out by ISIS’s Khorasan Province (based on ISIS’s claims of responsibility on Telegram):
    • On June 14, 2022, an IED was activated against a Taliban vehicle in the city of Kabul. All eight passengers in the vehicle, including a commander, were killed or wounded.
    • On June 14, 2022, a Taliban commander was targeted by gunfire in the Laghman Province, in eastern Afghanistan.
    • On June 12, 2022, ISIS operatives fired machine guns at an employee bus at Mazar-i Sharif Airport. Over 10 employees were killed and wounded (Telegram, June 13, 2022).
    • A sticky bomb was activated against a Taliban vehicle in the city of Asadabad, in the Kunar Province. Two Taliban members were killed. A commander and another Taliban member were wounded (Telegram, June 12, 2022).

    [1] According to ISIS claims of responsibility and the Iraqi media ↑
    [2] The Ugandan army operates in the border area between the two countries, alongside the Congolese army. ↑

    SOURCE: The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center

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    Evarist Chahali

    Evarist Chahali

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