The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center's Spotlight on Global Jihad (July 7-13, 2022)

    Main events of the past week
    • According to an Iraqi security source, a new ISIS leader (khalifah) has been appointed. According to the source, he is the brother of ISIS’s former leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
    • In Syria, US forces carried out a targeted killing of ISIS’s commander in Syria and his deputy, near the Syrian-Turkish border.
    • The Sinai Peninsula: Three ISIS operatives were killed in an operation by the Egyptian army and Sinai Tribal Union which supports it, in the central Sinai Peninsula. Workshops for manufacturing rockets and repairing weapons were also uncovered.
    • Syria: A Syrian army officer was shot dead by ISIS operatives in the desert region. Another officer and a soldier were wounded when a mine planted by ISIS exploded.
    • Africa: In Nigeria, ISIS operatives broke into Kuje Prison southwest of the capital Abuja, liberating hundreds of inmates. Most of them were caught. The manhunt for several dozen inmates who managed to flee continued. In northeastern Mozambique and the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, ISIS continued its activity against Christian residents.
    • Afghanistan: ISIS operatives attacked two buses carrying Taliban members in the city of Herat. ISIS claims that about 20 Taliban members were killed or wounded.
    • In the other arenas, the volume of activity was relatively low, apparently due to Eid al-Adha (July 8-12, 2022).
    The Sinai Peninsula
    • On July 12, 2022, ISIS operatives fired at a Sinai Tribal Union patrol west of Rafah. One fighter was killed and several others were wounded (Telegram, July 12, 2022). Local sources confirmed that a soldier was killed in the area and added that three ISIS operatives had been killed fighting in the area while barricading themselves in a house (Akhbar Sinaa al-Aan Facebook page, July 12, 2022).
    Counterterrorism activity
    • The Egyptian army and Sinai Tribal Union forces continued their counterterrorism activity against ISIS networks in the central Sinai Peninsula. Following are the main incidents:
    • On July 10, 2022, the forces uncovered an ISIS workshop for manufacturing rockets and mortar shells in central Sinai (Sinai Tribal Union’s Facebook page, July 10, 2022).
    Part of the workshop equipment, apparently a generator (Sinai Tribal Union’s Facebook page, July 10, 2022)
    Part of the workshop equipment, apparently a generator (Sinai Tribal Union’s Facebook page, July 10, 2022)
    Equipment for manufacturing mortar shells and rockets.
    Right: Equipment for manufacturing mortar shells and rockets (Sinai Tribal Union’s Facebook page, July 10, 2022)


    On July 6, 2022, the Egyptian security forces killed three ISIS operatives in the Maghara region (Akhbar Sinaa al-Aan Facebook page, July 6, 2022).

    • On July 8, 2022, forces of the Egyptian army and the Sinai Tribal Union uncovered a workshop for repairing weapons. It contained spare parts and chemicals for manufacturing explosives (Sinai Tribal Union’s Facebook page, July 8, 2022).
    Weapons found in the workshop. Left: Chemicals found there (Sinai Tribal Union’s Facebook page, July 8, 2022)
    ‌‌Weapons found in the workshop. (Sinai Tribal Union’s Facebook page, July 8, 2022)
    Weapons found in the workshop. Left: Chemicals found there (Sinai Tribal Union’s Facebook page, July 8, 2022)
    ‌‌Chemicals found there‌‌(Sinai Tribal Union’s Facebook page, July 8, 2022)
    The Syrian arena
    Map of the Syrian provinces (freeworldmaps.net)
    Map of the Syrian provinces (freeworldmaps.net)
    ISIS’s commander in Syria killed in a US airstrike
    • According to an announcement by the US Army Central Command (CENTCOM), Maher al-Agal, one of the five senior ISIS officials who served as ISIS’s commander in Syria, was killed in a US airstrike on July 12, 2022. The airstrike was carried out while the commander and his deputy were riding a motorcycle near the town of Jindires, south of Afrin, near the Syrian-Turkish border. Maher al-Agal’s deputy was seriously wounded and later died of his wounds. It should be noted that Al-Agal worked intensively to develop ISIS’s terrorist networks outside Iraq and Syria. According to a report by a source well-versed in what is happening in Syria, Al-Agal carried a forged identity card in the name of someone else (CENTCOM’s Twitter account, July 12, 2022; Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, July 12, 2022).
    • In a statement issued by US President Joe Biden, he said the attack was the culmination of determined and meticulous intelligence work and that the death of the ISIS commander sent a powerful message to all terrorists threatening the United States and its interests around the world. He further noted that the operation proves that it is not necessary to deploy thousands of soldiers on combat missions to identify and eliminate those who pose a threat to the United States (White House website, July 12, 2022).
    The Idlib region
    • The Syrian army fired artillery at rebel forces in the northwestern part of the rebel enclave in Idlib. A local commander was killed and two fighters were wounded. In another incident, rebel forces fired artillery at Syrian army positions in the eastern part of the enclave. No casualties have been reported (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, July 11, 2022).
    The desert region (Al-Badia)
    • On July 11, 2022, a Syrian army officer was killed by ISIS gunfire on the desert outskirts of the Homs Province (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, July 11, 2022).
    • On July 12, 2022, a commander and a fighter of the Syrian army’s 25th division were wounded in the explosion of a mine planted by ISIS operatives in the Ithriya region, about 100 km northeast of Hama (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, July 12, 2022).

    Deir ez-Zor-Al-Mayadeen region

    • On July 12, 2022, ISIS operatives shot and killed an SDF fighter in the town of Al-Hawaij, about 4 km northeast of Al-Mayadeen (Telegram, July 12, 2022).
    • On July 7, 2022, ISIS operatives shot and wounded an SDF commander in the town of Abu Hardoub, about 20 km southeast of Al-Mayadeen (Telegram, July 7, 2022). The day before, ISIS operatives fired at an SDF headquarters in the Basira region, about 10 km north of Al-Mayadeen. An SDF fighter was killed and another was wounded (Telegram, July 6, 2022).
    Al-Hasakah region
    • On July 5, 2022, ISIS operatives killed an SDF fighter near the railway station in the city of Al-Raqqah (Telegram, July 6, 2022).
    The Iraqi arena
    Provinces of Iraq (Wikipedia)
    Provinces of Iraq (Wikipedia)
    Iraqi security source: new leader (khalifah) appointed to ISIS
    • According to an Iraqi security source who remained anonymous, a new leader (khalifah) was appointed to ISIS, Juma Awad Ibrahim al-Badri, whose nom de guerre is Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi. It was noted that he is the brother of ISIS’s former leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Juma Awad Ibrahim al-Badri held a series of senior posts in ISIS, serving inter alia as the chairman of ISIS’s Shura Council (Al-Sumaria, July 11, 2022). Al-Badri was apparently appointed as ISIS’s leader following the arrest of the previous leader in Turkey, although Turkish sources have not confirmed the report of his arrest.
    ISIS attacks by province[1]
    • The number of attacks carried out by ISIS in Iraq was extremely low this week.
    Nineveh Province
    • On July 9, 2022, ISIS operatives fired at a Popular Mobilization patrol that was trying to ambush ISIS operatives near the Wana region, about 35 km northwest of Mosul. One fighter was wounded (Telegram, July 10, 2022).
    • On July 5, 2022, ISIS operatives activated an IED against a bus carrying a mine clearing team, near the village of Hassan Jalad, about 15 km northwest of Mosul. Seven of the team members were wounded (Telegram, July 6, 2022). That same day, ISIS operatives activated an IED against an Iraqi army vehicle in the area. Two soldiers were wounded (Telegram, July 5, 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 30 and July 6, 2022, indicates that the organization carried out 71 attacks in its various provinces around the globe (compared to 43 in the previous week). The largest number of attacks was carried out in the West Africa Province (20). Attacks carried out in the other provinces: Iraq (13); Khorasan, i.e. Afghanistan (12); Syria (10); Central Africa (7); Mozambique (5); Sinai (3); and Somalia (1). A total of 148 people were killed or wounded in the attacks, compared to 112 in the previous week. The largest number of casualties was in the West Africa Province (43). The other casualties were in the following provinces: Khorasan (37); Iraq (28); Syria (16); Central Africa (11); Mozambique (6); Sinai (5); and Somalia (2) (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, July 7, 2022).
    • According to the infographic, the number of attacks increased this week compared to last week, as did the number of casualties. The number of attacks in the Khorasan Province increased (12 compared to 2 in the previous week). The most noteworthy attack was gunfire and throwing hand grenades at two buses carrying Taliban members in the city of Herat, in western Afghanistan, on July 4, 2022 (according to ISIS, about 20 people were killed and wounded in the incident).
    Summary of ISIS attacks (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, July 7, 2022)
    Summary of ISIS attacks (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, July 7, 2022)
    ISIS attacks by week (according to ISIS data)
    ISIS attacks by week (according to ISIS data)

    Africa

    Nigeria
    • On the night of July 5, 2022, ISIS operatives broke into Kuje Prison, about 25 km southwest of Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. There were 994 inmates in the prison at the time. In the first stage, more than 800 prisoners escaped, but most of them were caught. The manhunt for several dozen inmates who managed to flee continued. A prison employee and four inmates were killed in the attack. ISIS’s West Africa Province claimed responsibility for the incident[2].
    A minibus going up in flames in the prison compound (Amaq News Agency, from Telegram, July 6, 2022)
    A minibus going up in flames in the prison compound (Amaq News Agency, from Telegram, July 6, 2022)
    Prison inmates escaping after the break-in.
    Prison inmates escaping after the break-in (Amaq News Agency, from Telegram, July 6, 2022)
    The Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • On July 11, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked forces of the Congolese army and militias supporting it in the village of Monji, in the Ituri area of the Beni region. A total of 13 soldiers and fighters were killed or wounded, and weapons were seized (Telegram, July 11, 2022). A few days earlier, on July 7, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked a Congolese army compound in the village of Malulu, in the Ituri area, about 50 km west of the Congo-Uganda border. One soldier was killed. Weapons were seized and the compound was set on fire (Telegram, July 8, 2022).
    • ISIS operatives attacked several Christian villages:
    • On July 9, 2022, an attack was carried out against Bosio, in the Irumu region, 50 km northwest of the Congo-Uganda border. Over 15 civilians were killed and their homes were set on fire (Telegram, July 10, 2022).
    • On July 7, 2022, around 200 homes of residents of the village of Malulu were set on fire (Telegram, July 8, 2022).
    • On the same day, an attack was carried out against the village of Lomi, in the Rwenzori area, in the Beni region, not far from the border with Uganda. More than 15 civilians were killed. Homes and property were set on fire (Telegram, July 9, 2022).
    Mozambique
    • This week, ISIS’s Mozambique Province also continued to carry out attacks against Christian villages in the Cabo Delgado Province in northeastern Mozambique.

    Asia

    Afghanistan
    • ISIS operatives abducted and killed a Taliban member in the city of Mazar-i Sharif, in the Balkh region in northern Afghanistan, about 75 km southwest of the Afghanistan-Uzbekistan-Tajikistan tri-border region (Telegram, July 12, 2022).
    • On July 4, 2022, ISIS operatives armed with firearms and hand grenades attacked two buses carrying Taliban members in the city of Herat, about 120 km east of the Afghanistan-Iran border. About 20 Taliban members were killed or wounded. One of the two ISIS operatives was killed and the other escaped (Telegram, July 6, 2022). The Taliban movement noted that two of its members were killed in the attack, but the actual figure may be higher, since the movement prevented journalists from entering the area (afintl.com, July 7, 2022).
    One of the two buses attacked in the city of Herat (from a video released by the Amaq News Agency, Telegram, July 6, 2022)
    One of the two buses attacked in the city of Herat‌‌(from a video released by the Amaq News Agency, Telegram, July 6, 2022)
    India
    • ISIS operatives opened fire on several policemen in the Lal Bazaar area of the city of Srinagar, in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir in northern India. A police officer was killed and two other policemen were wounded (India Today, July 12, 2022). ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that it had fired at an Indian police patrol in the Lal Bazaar area in Srinagar. According to ISIS, three policemen were killed and another was wounded (Telegram, July 12, 2022).
    Yemen
    • On July 9, 2022, an ISIS suicide bomber, riding a motorcycle, activated his explosive vest near a convoy about 160 km southeast of Sana’a, in the Afar region. The convoy included commanders of the pro-Iranian Houthi movement. Several Houthis were killed or wounded. According to ISIS, the suicide bomber was Karar al-Muhajir (i.e., the migrant) and the Houthis have imposed a strict media ban on the incident (Amaq News Agency, Telegram, July 10, 2022).
    Suicide bomber who carried out the attack against the Houthis (Amaq News Agency, Telegram, July 10, 2022)
    Suicide bomber who carried out the attack against the Houthis‌‌(Amaq News Agency, Telegram, July 10, 2022) 

    The United States

    • Romeo Xavier Langhorrne, a 32-year-old US citizen living in St. Augustine, Florida, has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. He was convicted after confessing in Florida court on May 13, 2021, that he had attempted to provide ISIS with material support. The US Attorney General’s Office announced that Langhorrne had pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2014 and posted propaganda videos produced by ISIS on social media in 2018 and 2019. He was also reportedly interested in making a video demonstrating how to make explosives (Fox 35 Orlando, July 8, 2022).
    The battle for hearts and minds
    • The editorial in this week’s issue of ISIS’s Al-Naba weekly, entitled “Jihad and the People of Slogans,” discusses ISIS’s commitment to the idea of violent jihad against “infidels” while presenting the other jihadist organizations as hypocrites who use jihad as nothing more than a slogan (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, 7 July 2022).
    Editorial in ISIS’s Al-Naba weekly (Al-Naba weekly, July 7, 2022)
    Editorial in ISIS’s Al-Naba weekly (Al-Naba weekly, July 7, 2022)
    ISIS’s Khorasan Province calls on armed Pakistani groups to join ISIS
    • In a 22-page pamphlet published by the Al-Aza’im Foundation (the media arm of ISIS’s Khorasan Province) on the occasion of Eid al-Adha (July 12-8, 2022), ISIS calls on armed organizations in the tribal areas of Pakistan to join its ranks. It also calls on the ISIS operatives in Central and South Asia to carry out suicide bombing attacks and lone Wolf attacks (@khorasandiary Twitter account, July 8, 2022).
    Appendix

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

    Nigeria
    • On July 8, 2022, ISIS attacked the Christian village of Aga Mussa in Adamawa State, south of Borno State, in northeastern Nigeria. In addition, militias supporting the Nigerian army were targeted by gunfire. Two fighters were killed. Vehicles and several houses were set on fire (Telegram, July 8, 2022).
    • On July 8, 2022, an IED was activated against a Nigerian army vehicle on the Katavila-Mararaba road, in northeastern Adamawa State. The passengers on board were killed or wounded (Telegram, July 8, 2022).
    • On July 8, 2022, a roadblock was set up on the road between the towns of Gajiram and Gajiganna, north of Maiduguri, in Borno State. Two fighters of militias supporting the Nigerian army were abducted (Telegram, July 10, 2022).
    • On July 7, 2022, a Nigerian army checkpoint was targeted by gunfire in the town of Dikwa, about 70 km northeast of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, in northeastern Nigeria. The soldiers manning the checkpoint fled. Ammunition was seized (Telegram, July 8, 2022).
    • On July 6, 2022, an IED was activated against a Nigerian army foot patrol on the Katavila-Mararaba road in northeastern Adamawa State. Several soldiers were killed or wounded (Telegram, July 7, 2022).
    • On July 5, 2022, a truck and a bulldozer of the Nigerian government were set on fire near the village of Gubio, about 80 km northwest of Maiduguri (Telegram, July 6, 2022).
    • On July 4, 2022, ISIS attacked a Nigerian army compound in the town of Damasak, about 3 km south of the Nigeria-Niger border. Three soldiers were killed and another was wounded. Weapons and ammunition were seized (Telegram, July 5, 2022).
    Niger
    • On July 9, 2022, there was an exchange of fire with a Nigerien army patrol on the road between the towns of Bosso and Toumour, in the Diffa region, in southeastern Niger. Two soldiers were killed and another was wounded (Telegram, July 10, 2022).
    The Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • On July 5, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked a Congolese army compound in the village of Bulongo, in the Beni region, about 50 km from the Congo-Uganda border. The compound was set on fire (Telegram, July 6, 2022). That same day, a Congolese soldier was ambushed: he was beheaded and his motorcycle was set on fire (Telegram, July 6, 2022).
    Mozambique
    • On July 11, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked the Christian village of Nassimoco, in the Meluco District, the Cabo Delgado Province. A resident was killed. Houses and a government building were set on fire (Telegram, July 11, 2022).
    • On July 9, 2022, ISIS attacked a Mozambican army compound in the village of Fundanhar, in the Palma region, the Cabo Delgado Province. Weapons were seized and the compound was set on fire (Telegram, July 11, 2022).
    • On July 9, 2022, ISIS attacked the Christian village of Naqior, in the Ancuabe District, the Cabo Delgado Province. Two residents were killed. A school and 15 houses were set on fire (Telegram, July 10, 2022).
    Afghanistan
    • On July 9, 2022, an IED was activated against a Taliban member in the Manuki region, in the Kunar Province, northeast of Jalalabad. He was killed (Telegram, July 9, 2022).
    • On July 9, 2022, an IED was activated against a Taliban commander in the village of Dahoz, in the Watapur District, the Kunar Province. He was wounded (Telegram, July 10, 2022).
    • On July 8, 2022, an IED was activated against a gathering of Taliban members in Kabul. Several Taliban members were killed or wounded. Another IED was activated against Taliban members who arrived on the scene. Additional Taliban members were killed or wounded (Telegram, July 10, 2022).
    Pakistan
    • On July 5, 2022, two hand grenades were thrown at a Pakistan police compound in the city of Peshawar, about 30 km east of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. One policeman was wounded (Telegram, July 6, 2022).
    • On July 2, 2022, a Pakistani police officer was shot dead in the Wana region, in the southern Waziristan District, about 30 km east of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border (Telegram, July 5, 2022).

    [1] According to ISIS claims of responsibility and the Iraqi media ↑
    [2] For more information, see the ITIC’s Information Bulletin on the subject. ↑

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    Evarist Chahali

    Evarist Chahali

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