Home NEWS Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 31-September 6, 2023)

Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 31-September 6, 2023)

Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 31-September 6, 2023)
Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 31-September 6, 2023)


ISIS threatens to attack the Al-Hol camp (@Orhan_Qereman, September 3,2023)

Summary of ISIS attacks (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, August 31, 2023)

Summary of ISIS attacks (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, August 31, 2023)

Main events of the past week
The Syrian arena
Provinces of Syria (Free World Maps)
Provinces of Syria (Free World Maps)
The United States warns of the strengthening of ISIS
  • Recently, a violent and bloody conflict broke out between the Kurdish SDF forces and Sunni Arab tribesmen in the Deir ez-Zor area. So far, more than 150 people have been killed and dozens have been wounded in the clashes, which have spread to several areas. The forces of the US-led Global Coalition against ISIS are trying to calm the situation. They called for a cessation of hostilities and warned that ISIS would take advantage of the situation. To calm the situation, Ethan Goldrich, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, and a senior American officer visited Deir ez-Zor and met with senior SDF officials and tribal leaders. They agreed to deal with the issue to prevent further casualties (Reuters, September 4, 2023). It should be noted that Iranian and Syrian elements have recently been trying to recruit Arab tribesmen in the west Euphrates region, some of whom collaborating with the SDF forces, to weaken the pro-American presence in the region and Kurdish autonomy.
Idlib region
  • Clashes between the rebel forces led by the Al-Qaeda-affiliated HTS and the Syrian army in the rebel enclave in Idlib intensified this week. The following are the main incidents:
    • On September 5, 2023, there were exchanges of artillery fire between the Syrian army and the rebel forces in the western part of the rebel enclave. No casualties were reported (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, September 5, 2023).
    • On September 3, 2023, a Syrian army force penetrated the Al-Malaja area, in the southern part of the enclave. The force was identified by members of the Salafist-jihadi organization Ansar al-Tawhid, and there were heavy exchanges of fire between the sides. Two Syrian soldiers were killed, and the rest of the force withdrew (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, September 3, 2023).
    • On September 2, 2023, the Syrian army fired artillery at the northeastern region of the enclave. No casualties were reported (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, September 2, 2023).
    • On September 1, 2023, HTS operatives attacked Syrian army positions in Jabal al-Akrad (Mountain of the Kurds), in the area north of the rebel enclave, not far from the Syrian-Turkish border. Nine Syrian soldiers and three HTS operatives were killed in the attack (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, September 1, 2023).

Counterterrorism

Deir ez-Zor-Al-Mayadeen region
  • On September 1, 2023, the SDF forces, with the support of the Global Coalition against ISIS, detained an ISIS collaborator north of Al-Hasakah. The collaborator, who was transferring weapons to ISIS operatives, was caught in possession of weapons, including a machine gun, magazines, grenades, as well as mobile phones (SDF Press, September 2, 2023).
Weapons and mobile phones found in possession of the ISIS collaborator (SDF Press, September 2, 2023)
Weapons and mobile phones found in possession of the ISIS collaborator (SDF Press, September 2, 2023)
Family members of ISIS operatives returned to Al-Raqqah
  • A total of 94 family members of ISIS operatives were returned from the Al-Hol camp (about 35 km southeast of Al-Hasakah), where tens of thousands of family members of ISIS operatives are detained, to their city of origin, Al-Raqqah. Their return was accomplished after coordination between the Kurdish forces and the tribal leaders in the area. This step was intended to gradually evacuate the Al-Hol camp from its inmates. This is due to the Kurdish forces’ difficulties in managing and securing the site (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, September 3, 2023).
  • In this context, ISIS is reportedly repeatedly threatening to attack the camp, with the aim of liberating its operatives and their families. In a video circulated on social networks on September 3, 2023, an ISIS cell in the Deir ez-Zor area threatened that the organization would attack the Al-Hol camp. The speaker in the video also threatened to kill members of the Syrian regime and the Kurdish SDF forces (@Orhan_Qereman Twitter account, September 3, 2023).
Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 31-September 6, 2023)
ISIS threatens to attack the Al-Hol camp (@Orhan_Qereman, September 3,2023)
Iraq
Provinces of Iraq (Wikipedia)
Provinces of Iraq (Wikipedia)
Al-Anbar Province
  • On September 2, 2023, an attack was carried out on a Popular Mobilization post on the Al-Qaim-Akashat Road in western Iraq. The post was damaged. No casualties were reported (Telegram, September 4, 2023).
  • On September 1, 2023, an attack was carried out against an Iraqi army post east of Rutba, in western Iraq. The post was damaged. No casualties were reported (Telegram, September 2, 2023).

Counterterrorism

Salah al-Din Province
  • On August 30, 2023, the Iraqi army attacked guesthouses and caves used by ISIS operatives (the exact locations were not specified). Three ISIS operatives were killed (Al-Sumaria, August 30, 2023).
Summary of ISIS’s activity in the various provinces
  • According to an infographic published by Al-Naba, ISIS’s weekly, summarizing ISIS’s activity in the period between August 24 and 30, 2023, ISIS operatives carried out 13 attacks in the various provinces during this period (compared with 18 in the previous week). The highest number of attacks was carried out by operatives of the West Africa Province (6). Attacks carried out in the other provinces: East Asia (2); Central Africa (1); Syria (1); Iraq (1); Khorasan, i.e., Afghanistan (1); and Pakistan (1). A total of 38 people were killed and wounded, compared with 93 in the previous week. The largest number of casualties was in Central Africa (15). In the other provinces: East Asia (9); Central Africa (8); Syria (3); Iraq (1); Khorasan, i.e., Afghanistan (1); and Pakistan (1) (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, August 31, 2023).
Summary of ISIS attacks (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, August 31, 2023)
Summary of ISIS attacks (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, August 31, 2023)
Attacks by week (according to ISIS’s figures)

Attacks by week (according to ISIS’s figures)

Africa

Nigeria
ISIS’s activity
  • ISIS continued to attack the Nigerian army in Borno State, in the northeast of the country.
    • On September 4, 2023, an IED was activated against a patrol on the road between the towns of Wajiroko to Sabon Gari, about 100 km southwest of Maiduguri. One armored vehicle was put out of commission (Telegram, September 5, 2023).
    • On September 2, 2023, an attack was carried out against a checkpoint in the town of Volka. Soldiers manning the checkpoint fled, and ISIS operatives set it on fire (Telegram, September 3, 2023).
    • On September 1, 2023, there were exchanges of fire between ISIS operatives and a patrol of a militia supporting the Nigerian army in the town of Gwoza. A militia fighter was killed, and three others were wounded (Telegram, September 2, 2023).
    • On September 1, 2023, an IED was activated against a Nigerian army patrol between the towns of Volgo and Gambura. A Nigerian army armored vehicle was put out of commission. No casualties were reported (Telegram, September 2, 2023).
    • On September 1, 2023, an attack was carried out against a Nigerian army position in the town of Ladari. A soldier was killed, several soldiers were wounded, and the rest fled the scene. ISIS operatives seized a motorcycle and ammunition (Telegram, September 2, 2023).
Counterterrorism
  • On August 31, 2023, the Nigerian Army Air Force attacked and destroyed a Boko Haram or ISIS hideout in the Lake Chad area (thecable.ng, September 1, 2023; thenationonlineng.net, September 2, 2023).
  • On August 31, 2023, a Nigerian army force supported by local forces attacked a Boko Haram target in the Lake Chad area. Six Boko Haram operatives were killed, and another was arrested (vanguardngr.com, August 31, 2023).
Release of children recruited to Boko Haram
  • On August 30, 2023, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced that 4,204 children previously recruited to Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria had been released from detention at a military prison in Maiduguri (the capital of Borno State) and returned to their homes for reintegration into society. The return of the children to their homes was carried out in accordance with an agreement between the Nigerian government and the UN, which aims to ensure that children involved in violent conflicts are not held for long periods of time in military installations (Premium Times, August 30, 2023).

Cameroon

Boko Haram activity
  • On September 1, 2023, Boko Haram operatives attacked a remote village in the Kolofata area, in northern Cameroon, near the Cameroon-Nigeria border. One civilian was killed (newsghana.com.gh, September 2, 2023).

Mali

Terrorist activity
  • On September 4, 2023, an attack was carried out against a Malian police checkpoint in the town of Dialakoroba, about 25 km south of the capital Bamako. The policemen at the post repelled the attackers. One of the gunmen was killed. One policeman and two civilians were wounded. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but apparently Al-Qaeda or ISIS, operating in the country, were behind it (The North Africa Post, September 4, 2023).

Burkina Faso

Terrorist activity
  • On September 4, 2023, jihadi militants attacked a Burkina Faso army force and local fighters supporting it in the Yatenga Province in the north of the country (the Malian border). A total of 17 soldiers and 36 civilian volunteers were killed. Since 2015, Al-Qaeda and ISIS have been operating in the province, but this year their attacks intensified. Burkina Faso’s security forces are working to regain control and allow villagers to return to their homes. They also held talks with a Russian delegation about possible collaboration with the Russian military in the war on terror. Since 2015, a total of 16,000 people have been killed in terrorist activity and more than two million people have been displaced (France 24, September 5, 2023).

Somalia

Al-Shabaab activity
  • Operatives of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab attacked local militias loyal to the Somali army in the Middle Shabelle area in the south of the country.
    • On September 4, 2023, according to Al-Shabaab, after a massive exchange of fire, they took over the Dar al-Nama area, north of Mogadishu, killing 12 militia fighters and wounding three (Shahada News Agency, September 4, 2023).
    • On September 2, 2023, they attacked a local militia checkpoint. According to Al-Shabaab, 11 militia fighters were killed and wounded (Shahada News Agency, September 4, 2023).
Preventive activity
  • After last week’s attacks against Al-Shabaab resulted in the Somali army sustaining heavy casualties, the forces withdrew from several cities and towns in the center of the country. According to the Somali army, the withdrawal was carried out as a strategic step and does not indicate a weakening of the operation (garoweonline.com, September 1, 2023).
    • At the same time, the Somali army, its regional partners, and US military forces continued their activity against Al-Shabaab.
    • On September 4, 2023, a total of 150 Al-Shabaab operatives were reportedly killed in an operation by the Somali army. No further details were given, but it was apparently an operation in the center of the country (hiiraan.com, September 4, 2023). On the same day, it was reported that 43 Al-Shabaab operatives were killed in the Galgaduud Province, in the center of the country, and that vehicles used by the organization were destroyed (Somalia News Agency, September 4, 2023).
    • On September 2, 2023, a base in Harardhere about 400 km northeast of Mogadishu was attacked and destroyed. Apparently, several Al-Shabaab operatives were killed (garoweonline.com, September 2, 2023).
    • On September 2, 2023, several targets were attacked in the lower Shabelle area in the south of the country. Twenty Al-Shabaab operatives were killed (canindia.com, September 3, 2023). On the same day, another 13 operatives were reportedly killed in various operations throughout the country (hiiraan.com, September 4, 2023).

Senior Al-Shabaab operative turns himself in

  • On August 30, 2023, the Somali government announced that Nur Abdullahi Maalinguur, a senior Al-Shabaab operative, had turned himself in in the Mudug area, in the center of the country. Maalinguur apparently served as a commander in this area (garoweonline.com, August 30, 2023).

Asia

Pakistan
ISIS’s activity
  • On September 4, 2023, two Pakistani government “spies” were shot dead in the Bajaur area, near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border (Telegram, September 4, 2023).
Counterterrorism
  • On September 2, 2023, the counterterrorism unit of the Punjab Province Police announced the arrest of five female ISIS operatives in the province. According to the announcement, the detained women were involved in terrorist activity in the country. Weapons, cash, cell phones, and written material whose distribution is prohibited by law were seized in their possession (outlookindia.com, September 2, 2023).
Turkey
  • On September 2, 2023, the Istanbul police detained two foreign nationals suspected of providing military equipment and logistical support to ISIS (Yeni Safak, September 2, 2023).

Europe

Report indicates decline in jihadi terrorism and increase in anarchist terrorism
  • On August 31, 2023, Europol, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, published a report according to which during 2022, there has been a decrease in the number of jihadi terrorist attacks in EU countries. According to the report, there were six terrorist attacks in 2022, compared to 11 in 2021 and 13 in 2020. Furthermore, in 2022, the number of detainees detained for jihadi terrorism in EU countries rose from 254 in 2020 to 260 in 2021 and 266 in 2023. At the same time, 2022 saw an alarming increase in anarchist terrorism and terrorism based on radical leftist ideologies, from one attack in 2021 to 18 in 2022. In addition, the report notes that jihadi elements around the world raise money in Europe through supporters, family members, and charitable organizations (Europol, August 31, 2023).
Germany
  • The court decided to increase the sentence of a 32-year-old German citizen from 10 years to 14 years in prison on charges of aiding and abetting the commission of crimes against humanity as part of ISIS’s activity. The woman, identified as Jennifer W, was convicted, among other things, of holding, together with her ex-husband, a kidnapped five-year-old Yazidi girl and her mother in Iraq in 2015 and using them as slaves. They denied the mother and child access to food and drink, beat them regularly, and although they were Yazidis, they forced them to follow Islamic law and adopt Muslim names (DW, August 29, 2023; JURIST, August 31, 2023).
Austria
  • Austrian security officials reported that they had located a terrorist squad with ties to ISIS, consisting of nine men and a woman. One of the squad members was detained. According to the Austrian Intelligence Services (DSN), the investigation revealed that the squad members aged 15 to 23 live in northern Austria and maintain a fundamentalist Muslim lifestyle. According to suspicions, they worked to recruit operatives for ISIS and their activity in the organization continued for a long time. During a raid on their homes in July 2023, dozens of phones, computers, and propaganda materials were found (Al-Arabiya News, September 5, 2023
United States
  • Adrienne Watson, spokeswoman for the National Security Council (the body that advises the President on foreign and security policy), announced that a network of a “foreign terrorist group” attempting to smuggle illegal immigrants from Uzbekistan to the United States had been exposed and that at least one member of the network had ties with ISIS. Although the name of the organization was not mentioned, an anonymous “official source” leaked to the media that it was ISIS. However, US intelligence officials estimate that the 120 Uzbek nationals who arrived in the US through the Turkish-based smuggling network had no relation to terrorist activity (AP; NBC, August 30, 2023).
The battle for hearts and minds
  • The editorial of ISIS’s weekly Al-Naba was published this week under the title “The world order is crumbling.” The writer notes that the current secular world order, which relies on alliances, allies, and proxies, has ultimately led to fragmentation, disintegration, and lack of coordination, which will end in the destruction of the “infidel” order and the rise of the Islamic jihadi regime.
  • According to the writer, the fragmentation, disintegration, and lack of coordination of the existing order are reflected in the war in Ukraine; coups in Africa against France; the struggle between the United States and Iran; the confrontation between the Wagner Group and the Russian regime; the political struggles in Israel (“the ‘statelet’ of the Jews”) “gnawing at it in an unprecedented way;” the lone-wolf terrorist attacks among Palestinians “who renounce the Palestinian organizations funded by Iran” (i.e., Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad); and internal struggles between the Kurdish SDF forces in the east Euphrates and the Arab population in the region.
  • Because of all this, the writer addresses Muslims in the east Euphrates and areas where ISIS operatives are not present around the world and calls on them to join ISIS. He notes that they will not be safe if they continue their “infidel” path and that the erosion among the “infidels” will intensify and extend beyond the borders of Asia and Africa, and sooner or later reach Europe as well. According to the writer, the “infidel” regime in the world will be replaced by an Islamic-jihadi regime advocated by ISIS, and therefore Muslims around the world must join ISIS, which implements the principles of this regime (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, August 31, 2023).
The editorial “The world order is crumbling” (Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, August 31, 2023)
The editorial “The world order is crumbling”
(Al-Naba weekly, Telegram, August 31, 2023)

[1] For the full report, see: https://www.europol.europa.eu/publication-events/main-reports/european-union-terrorism-situation-and-trend-report-2023-te-sat#downloads



Source link