The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center's Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 4-10, 2022)

    Main events of the past week
    • This week, there was an increase in the scope of ISIS activity around the globe. The epicenter of ISIS activity was Afghanistan.
    • The Sinai Peninsula: The Egyptian army and the Sinai Tribal Union carried out searches in the central Sinai Peninsula, killing four ISIS operatives and capturing others. In clashes between Egyptian soldiers and ISIS operatives in northern and central a Sinai, two Egyptian officers and a soldier were killed.
    • Syria: ISIS attacked Syrian soldiers and fighters of the forces supporting it in the desert region after several weeks of inactivity in the region. In southern Syria, former fighters of the rebel forces killed ISIS’s commander in the region.
    • Iraq: The scope of ISIS’s activity remained low. In light of the above, the editorial of ISIS’s Al-Naba weekly called on members of the Sunni community in Iraq to join ISIS.
    • Afghanistan: Two terrorist attacks were carried out by activating IEDs against Shiite civilians in Kabul. Ten civilians were killed and several dozen others were wounded.
    • Africa: ISIS’s activity in Nigeria was relatively limited. In Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, ISIS continued to carry out attacks against Christian residents.
    The Sinai Peninsula
    ISIS attacks
    • This week, ISIS continued to operate against the Egyptian security forces in northern and central Sinai. Following are highlights:
    • On August 6, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked an Egyptian army force in northern Sinai. An Egyptian lieutenant was killed (Nuqta I’lamiya Facebook page, August 6, 2022).
    • On August 6, 2022, ISIS operatives activated an IED against a Sinai Tribal Union patrol in the village of Al-Matlah, west of Rafah. Two fighters were wounded (Telegram, August 7, 2022).
    • On August 3, 2022, ISIS operatives activated an IED against an Egyptian army patrol in the Bir al-Abd region, in northern Sinai. A captain was killed and other soldiers were wounded (Telegram, August 5, 2022; the Sinai Tribal Union Facebook page, August 4, 2022).
    • On August 2, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked an Egyptian army force in the Al-Maghara region, in central Sinai. One soldier was killed and several others were wounded (Al-Araby al-Jadeed, August 3, 2022; Telegram, August 2, 2022).
    Counterterrorism activities
    • Egyptian soldiers and Sinai Tribal Union fighters operating in central Sinai on August 4, 2022, killed four ISIS operatives and captured several others and three women and four children. One soldier was killed in the exchange of fire with ISIS (Sinai Tribal Union’s Facebook page, August 4, 2022).
    The Syrian arena
    Map of the Syrian provinces (freeworldmaps.net)
    Map of the Syrian provinces (freeworldmaps.net)
    The desert region (Al-Badia)
    • On August 9, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked a checkpoint of militias affiliated with Iran at the entrance to Al-Sukhnah, about 60 km northeast of Palmyra. Three foreign fighters were killed and four others were wounded (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, August 9, 2022).
    • On August 4, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked a post of the Syrian army and the forces supporting it near a telecommunications tower of the Syrian Syriatel mobile network in the town of Al-Mahr, east of Homs. Four soldiers and fighters were killed and several others were wounded (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, August 4, 2022).
    Deir ez-Zor-Al-Mayadeen region
    • On August 8, 2022, ISIS operatives shot and killed an SDF fighter near Al-Attal Square, in the Al-Basira region, about 15 km north of Al-Mayadeen (Telegram, August 9, 2022).
    • On August 8, 2022, ISIS operatives fired at an SDF checkpoint on the outskirts of the village of Daman, about 25 km north of Al-Mayadeen. No casualties have been reported (Enab Baladi, August 9, 2022).
    • On August 3, 2022, ISIS operatives fired at an SDF vehicle in the village of Bariha, in the Al-Basira region, about 15 km north of Al-Mayadeen. The passengers on board the vehicle were killed or wounded (Telegram, August 3, 2022).
    • That same day, August 3, 2022, ISIS operatives shot and killed two SDF fighters riding a motorcycle in the Sabha region, about 20 km north of Al-Mayadeen (Telegram, August 3, 2022). In another incident, an SDF fighter was abducted by ISIS in Al-Basira, about 15 km north of Al-Mayadeen. He was killed and his motorcycle was seized (Telegram, August 3, 2022). It is possible that the same squad was responsible for the three shooting incidents.
    Southern Syria
    • On August 9, 2022, former fighters in the rebel forces surrounded an apartment in the town of Adwan, about 15 km east of the Syrian-Israeli border, where Abu Salem al-Iraqi, ISIS commander (emir) in southern Syria (referred to by ISIS as the Hawran sector), barricaded himself. In response, Al-Iraqi, who was an Iraqi national, took one of the residents in the building hostage and negotiated his release. During the negotiation, Al-Iraqi detonated his explosive belt and was killed along with the hostage and a former Free Syrian Army fighter who was apparently part of the force that tried to break into the apartment. Three other fighters were wounded. Al-Iraqi was responsible for a series of targeted killings of former commanders in the rebel factions and was also partly responsible for the anarchy in southern Syria. Since 2018, he had been hiding in the rural area west of Daraa, near the Golan Heights (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, August 9, 2022; Enab Baladi, August 9, 2022).
    Abu Salem al-Iraqi (Enab Baladi, August 9, 2022)
    Abu Salem al-Iraqi (Enab Baladi, August 9, 2022)


    On August 3, 2022, ISIS operatives shot and killed a Syrian Air Force Intelligence “agent” in the town of Mseifrah, east of Daraa (Telegram, August 5, 2022).

    The Iraqi arena
    Provinces of Iraq (Wikipedia)
    Provinces of Iraq (Wikipedia)
    ISIS attacks by province[1]
    Diyala Province
    • On August 3, 2022, ISIS operatives activated an IED against a convoy of the Iraqi Army Diyala Province Operations Commander on the outskirts of Qara Tapa, about 100 km northeast of Baqubah. An officer and his escort were wounded (Telegram, August 3, 2022).
    • On August 2, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked an Iraqi army checkpoint in Qara Tapa. Four soldiers were killed and four others were wounded. The Iraqi army conducted a manhunt after the attackers (Al-Yaqin Media Foundation, August 3, 2022). ISIS claimed responsibility for the incident, saying that its operatives had fired guns and rockets at an Iraqi army post near the village of Saif Saad, in the Qara Tapa region. ISIS operatives infiltrated the post, killed the soldiers stationed there and seized a rifle. They then activated an IED against an armored vehicle arriving on the scene to provide assistance, and the vehicle went up in flames. According to ISIS, five soldiers were killed and four others were wounded (Telegram, August 3, 2022).
    Kirkuk Province
    • On August 4, 2022, ISIS operatives activated an IED against an Iraqi police armored vehicle near the village of Al-Kaba, in the Rashad region, about 35 km southwest of Kirkuk. Two policemen were wounded (Telegram, August 5, 2022).
    Al-Anbar Province
    • On July 24, 2022, ISIS operatives activated an IED against an Iraqi army armored vehicle in the desert region near the city of Hit, about 135 km northwest of Baghdad. The passengers on board were wounded (Telegram, July 27, 2022).
    Summary of ISIS’s activity in the various provinces
    • An infographic published by ISIS, summing up its activity around the world in the period between July 28 and August 3, 2022, indicates that the organization carried out 36 attacks in its various provinces around the globe (compared to 32 in the previous week). The largest number of attacks was carried out in the West Africa Province (11). Attacks carried out in the other provinces: Iraq (10); Syria (6); Mozambique (3); Central Africa (3); Khorasan, i.e. Afghanistan (2); and Somalia (1). A total of 86 people were killed or wounded in the attacks, compared to 65 in the previous week. The largest number of casualties was in the West Africa Province (32). The other casualties were in the following provinces: Iraq (14); Khorasan (12); Syria (10); Central Africa (9); Mozambique (6); and Somalia (3) (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, August 4, 2022).
    Summary of ISIS attacks (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, August 5, 2022)
    Summary of ISIS attacks (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, August 5, 2022)
    ISIS attacks by week (according to ISIS data)
    ISIS attacks by week (according to ISIS data)

    Africa

    Nigeria
    ISIS/Boko Haram activity
    • On August 4, 2022, ISIS operatives fired at a Nigerian army checkpoint in the town of Monguno, about 100 km northeast of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State. The soldiers fled, and ISIS operatives seized ammunition (Telegram, August 5, 2022).
    • On August 4, 2022, ISIS operatives set up a temporary roadblock on the road between the towns of Gajiram and Gajiganna, north of Maiduguri in Borno State. A Christian citizen was abducted (Telegram, August 5, 2022).
    • On August 3, 2022, operatives of Boko Haram/ISIS’s West Africa Province abducted an employee of the Borno State medical establishment on the road between Nganzai and Monguno, about 100 km northeast of Maiduguri (Vanguard, Nigerian news website, August 3, 2022).
    Counterterrorism activity
    • On August 5, 2022, a Nigerian army force thwarted an attack by ISIS operatives in the Monguno region, about 100 km northeast of Maiduguri. A large number of ISIS operatives were killed in the incident (thestreetjournal.org, August 6, 2022).
    • On August 3, 2022, a force of the Nigerian army and fighters of a local civilian task force carried out a surprise attack against a Boko Haram camp in the village of Gazuwa, in the Bama region, about 60 km southeast of Maiduguri. Dozens of terrorist operatives were killed and others fled. One soldier was killed (Naija News, a Nigerian news website, August 3, 2022).
    The Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • On August 6, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked the Christian village of Bandiboli, on the road between Mambasa and Komanda, in the Ituri region. Villagers’ homes were set on fire (Telegram, August 6, 2022).
    • On August 5, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked the Christian village of Kandoi, on the road between Mambasa and Komanda. There was an exchange of fire with the Congolese army. The soldiers fled. An assault rifle was seized. The houses in the village were set on fire (Telegram, August 6, 2022).
    • On August 2, 2022, ISIS operatives fired at a Congolese army vehicle in the village of Chani-Chani, in the Beni region, about 50 km from the Congo-Uganda border. One soldier was killed. His assault rifle was seized and the vehicle was set on fire (Telegram, August 3, 2022).
    Congolese army vehicle going up in flames in the village of Chani-Chani (Amaq News Agency, Telegram, August 3, 2022)
    Congolese army vehicle going up in flames in the village of Chani-Chani‌‌(Amaq News Agency, Telegram, August 3, 2022)


    On August 1, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked the Christian village of Sissa, in the Ituri area of the Beni region. There was an exchange of fire with the Congolese army. One soldier was killed and the rest fled. An assault rifle was seized (Telegram, August 4, 2022).

    An ISIS operative during the attack on the village (Telegram, August 4, 2022)
    An ISIS operative during the attack on the village (Telegram, August 4, 2022)
    Mozambique
    • ISIS operatives continued to attack Christian residents in Cabo Delgado Province in northeastern Mozambique. According to ISIS, on August 1, 2022, it killed five Christian residents in the northeast of the country.
    • On August 4, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked a Mozambican army compound in the Christian village of Namitako, in the Meluco region of Cabo Delgado Province. One soldier was wounded and the rest fled. The compound was set on fire and ammunition was seized (Telegram, August 5, 2022).
    Mali
    • On August 7, 2022, ISIS operatives attacked Malian army targets in the Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger tri-border area. According to the Malian army, at least 17 soldiers and four civilians were killed. A total of 22 soldiers were wounded and nine others are missing in action (France 24, August 9, 2022).

    Asia

    Afghanistan
    • On August 6, 2022, there was a powerful explosion in the Pol-e-Sokhta neighborhood in western Kabul. According to the Taliban administration, two people were killed and 22 others were wounded in the incident (Khaama Press, August 6, 2022). ISIS claimed responsibility for the explosion, stating that its operatives activated an IED against a gathering of Shiite citizens and against Taliban members. According to ISIS, 30 Shiite civilians and Taliban members were killed or wounded (Telegram, August 6, 2022).
    Smoke rising from the site of the attack (Khaama Press, August 6, 2022)
    Smoke rising from the site of the attack (Khaama Press, August 6, 2022)


    On August 5, 2022, ISIS operatives activated an IED in central Kabul. According to the Afghan police, eight people were killed and 18 others were wounded. According to reports, the IED was placed inside a vegetable stand in a crowded area near a Shiite mosque (Reuters; Al-Arabiya; Swiss Info; ABC News, August 5, 2022). ISIS claimed responsibility for the incident, stating that its operatives activated an IED against a gathering of Shiites in the Sar-e-Kariz area in central Kabul (Telegram, August 5, 2022).

    Counterterrorism activity
    • The security forces of the Taliban administration operated against an ISIS squad in the Kart al-Sahi area in western Kabul. In an exchange of fire that lasted for several hours, four ISIS operatives were killed and another operative was captured. The squad reportedly planned to carry out an attack against Shiite civilians in the region who had gathered to celebrate the month of Muharram (the first month of the year in the Muslim calendar). A large quantity of weapons and ammunition was found at the site (Anatolia News Agency, August 3, 2022). According to another source, two Taliban policemen were killed and four others were wounded in the incident (ABC News, August 3, 2022).

    Iran

    Counterterrorism activity

    According to reports, during three days of activity, the Iranian security forces in western and southern Iran captured 10 ISIS operatives who had illegally crossed the border to Iran from Turkey and Iraq and were planning to carry out attacks against participants in ceremonies commemorating the anniversary of the death of the Imam Al-Hussain[2]. According to the report, all their equipment and materials for activating IEDs and all their weapons were confiscated. Two members of the Iranian security forces were wounded by ISIS operatives before the latter were captured (Al-Mayadeen, August 4, 2022).

    The battle for hearts and minds
    • The editorial of this week’s issue of ISIS’s Al-Naba weekly, which is entitled “The Recalcitrant [i.e.: Shiite] Conflict in Iraq,” is devoted to the internal struggles between the Shiite groups in Iraq in light of the parliamentary crisis. The editorial also calls on members of the Sunni community in the country to join ISIS. The author states that there is a religious obligation in Islam to maintain unity among Muslims based on obedience to Allah and this, according to the author, is how the Islamic State of ISIS and its branches around the world conduct themselves. The editorial also states that Sunni citizens in Iraq must not rely on the Shiites, the Americans or the Iranians to save them because these entities are hostile to the Sunni community and that their salvation will be achieved by joining their Sunni brothers. The author rules out the possibility of the Sunnis joining Sunni parties, because they make alliances with the Shiite elements in the country and betray the Sunni interest. He calls on them to join ISIS, which advocates adherence to Islam and jihad, the only thing which, according to him, will solve the problems of the Sunnis (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, August 5, 2022).
    The editorial, as it appeared in ISIS's Al-Naba weekly (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, August 5, 2022)
    The editorial, as it appeared in ISIS’s Al-Naba weekly (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, August 5, 2022)
    Appendix
    Additional ISIS attacks (according to ISIS’s claims of responsibility)
    Nigeria
    • On July 31, 2022, ISIS attacked a Nigerian army compound in the town of Marte, about 90 km northeast of Maiduguri, in Borno State. Three soldiers were killed (Telegram, August 2, 2022).
    The Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • On July 30, 2022, ISIS attacked the Christian village of Soba Kalo, in the Beni region, about 50 km from the Congo-Uganda border. Six Christian residents were killed. Several homes of Christians were set on fire (Telegram, August 1, 2022).
    Mozambique
    • On August 1, 2022, three Christian residents were abducted and beheaded in the village of Tandako, in the Macomia District, in the eastern part of Cabo Delgado Province (Telegram, August 2, 2022).
    • August 1, 2022, ISIS ambushed two Christian residents, who were abducted and beheaded, on the road between the villages of Nova Zambézia and Nova Vida, in the Macomia District, in eastern Cabo Delgado Province. In addition, a Christian commercial convoy was targeted by gunfire. Several residents were wounded and seven vehicles were damaged (Telegram, August 1, 2022).
    Afghanistan
    • On August 5, 2022, a Taliban member was targeted by gunfire and killed in the Chaparhar region, about 12 km southwest of Jalalabad (Telegram, August 5, 2022).
    • On August 1, 2022, an IED was activated against a Taliban vehicle in a village in the Soki District, in Kunar, northeast of Jalalabad. Six Taliban members, including two commanders, were killed or wounded. The vehicle was damaged (Telegram, August 1, 2022).

    [1] According to ISIS claims of responsibility and the Iraqi media ↑
    [2] The Imam Al-Hussain bin Ali and his men were killed in the battle of Karbala on 10 Muharram 61 of the Hijrah / October 10, 680 CE. ↑

    SOURCE: The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center

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