Spotlight on Global Jihad (July 23-29, 2020)

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Buildings destroyed by artillery fire of forces supporting the Syrian army southwest of Idlib (Ibaa, July 26, 2020)

Buildings destroyed by artillery fire of forces supporting the Syrian army southwest of Idlib (Ibaa, July 26, 2020)

ISIS operatives on their way to attack an Egyptian army camp and positions in the village of Rabi’a.

ISIS operatives on their way to attack an Egyptian army camp and positions in the village of Rabi’a.

Smoke rising as a result of the explosion of one of the car bombs (Telegram, July 28, 2020)

Smoke rising as a result of the explosion of one of the car bombs (Telegram, July 28, 2020)

Execution of the Egyptian officer by an ISIS operative (Telegram, July 28, 2020)

Execution of the Egyptian officer by an ISIS operative (Telegram, July 28, 2020)

Execution of the Egyptian officer by an ISIS operative (Telegram, July 28, 2020)

Execution of the Egyptian officer by an ISIS operative (Telegram, July 28, 2020)

IDs, a smartphone and cash that were in the possession of the Egyptian officer who was executed (Telegram, July 28, 2020)

IDs, a smartphone and cash that were in the possession of the Egyptian officer who was executed (Telegram, July 28, 2020)

The United States, US President Donald Trump, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, intimating that Western countries and Egypt are ISIS’s targets.

The United States, US President Donald Trump, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, intimating that Western countries and Egypt are ISIS’s targets.

Flags of some of the “infidel” countries that appear in the video. The Israeli flag is one of them (Telegram, July 26, 2020).

Flags of some of the “infidel” countries that appear in the video. The Israeli flag is one of them (Telegram, July 26, 2020).

Overview
  • The ceasefire is being maintained in the Idlib region of northern Syria, but there has been an increase in the intensity of the incidents between the Syrian army and the rebel organizations. The Salvation Government reported 19 active COVID-19 cases identified in the area, but it is reasonable to assume that the actual number is higher.
  • On July 22, 2020, ISIS launched a synchronized wave of attacks known as the Raids of Attrition, (which has not yet ended). To date, over 60 attacks have been carried out, the majority in Iraq and Syria and a few in other provinces in Africa and Asia. Most of them were routine attacks (activating IEDs, attacking military facilities and camps, targeted killings, etc.). However, some of them were high-profile attacks in which ISIS demonstrated high operational capability.
  • The most notable was a large-scale combined attack in the northern Sinai Peninsula, near the village of Rabi’a, west of Bir al-Abd (near the coastal highway, about 30 km from the Suez Canal). According to initial reports, the incident included an attack on an army camp and a checkpoint; ISIS operatives took control of four villages near the area of the attack; the abduction and execution of an Egyptian army officer and noncommissioned officer; activation of IEDs devices and sniper fire at the Egyptian forces in the Rabi’a area. According to ISIS’s claim of responsibility, more than 40 Egyptian soldiers and policemen were killed in the attack, and more than 60 were wounded. Up to now, the Egyptian army has refrained from officially reporting its losses, probably due to embarrassment over the high number of casualties (a summary of the incident and its implications will be published separately by the ITIC).
  • Another notable attack carried out as part of the Raids of Attrition was the killing of a senior Syrian Military Security operative in Daraa by an ISIS suicide bomber (the official Syrian version has not admitted this). In addition, operatives of ISIS’s Horan Province also activated an IED against a Syrian army vehicle near Nawa (about 9 km east of the border between Syria and Israel). According to ISIS’s claim of responsibility, 10 Syrian soldiers were killed in these attacks.
ISIS’s activity worldwide
Another wave of ISIS’s attacks (“Raids of Attrition”)

On July 22, 2020, ISIS launched a new synchronized wave of attacks, called Raids of Attrition. To date, ISIS has carried out over 60 attacks. It is unclear when the current wave of attacks is going to end (the previous wave of attacks lasted for 10 days[1]). The majority of the attacks so far have been carried out in Iraq and Syria, and some of them in other provinces in Africa and Asia. Most of the attacks carried out so far were “routine.” However, there were some showcase attacks, in which ISIS demonstrated high operational capability. The most prominent was a combined attack against an Egyptian army camp west of Bir al-Abd.

  • The wave of attacks was carried out at a time when ISIS’s operational capabilities had improved and its self-confidence increased, mainly in the Iraqi arena, in the Sinai Peninsula and to some extent in Syria. This wave of attacks was intended to raise the morale of its operatives and convey a message of strength to ISIS’s enemies, to Muslim communities around the world and to the international community as a whole. The wave of attacks was also intended to glorify ISIS leader Haji Abdullah, who succeeded Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Jihadi organizations’ activity in Syria
Idlib region

In the past week, there was an increase in the intensity of the artillery fire of the Syrian forces and the militias supporting them at the rebel organizations in the area of Jabal Zawiya, south of Idlib. The Salvation Government operating in the Idlib region reported 19 active COVID-19 cases in the Idlib region, but it can be assumed that their number is higher.

Exchange of artillery fire
  • On July 26, 2020, the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham fired artillery at the militias supporting the Syrian army in the rural area south of Idlib. Several fighters, including an officer, were killed or wounded. The Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham reported that the artillery was fired in retaliation for militia artillery fire at Jabal Zawiya (Ibaa, July 26, 2020).
  • On July 26, 2020, the forces supporting the Syrian army fired artillery at Jabal Zawiya, about 25 km south of Idlib (Ibaa, July 26, 2020).
  • On July 26, 2020, the forces supporting the Syrian army fired artillery at several villages in Jabal Zawiya (Ibaa, July 26, 2020).
  • On July 26, 2020, the forces supporting the Syrian army fired artillery at a village about 30 km southwest of Idlib. An operative of the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham was killed and others were wounded (Ibaa, July 26, 2020).
Buildings destroyed by artillery fire of forces supporting the Syrian army southwest of Idlib (Ibaa, July 26, 2020)     Buildings destroyed by artillery fire of forces supporting the Syrian army southwest of Idlib (Ibaa, July 26, 2020)
Buildings destroyed by artillery fire of forces supporting the Syrian army southwest of Idlib (Ibaa, July 26, 2020)
  • On July 25, 2020, the forces supporting the Syrian army fired artillery at a village in Jabal Zawiya, about 40 km south of Idlib. Four people were killed and several others were wounded (Ibaa, July 26, 2020).
COVID-19 outbreak in the Idlib region
  • On July 9, 2020, the first case of COVID-19 in the Idlib region was reported. By July 26, 2020, the number of active cases in the region had risen to 19. The morbidity figures were published on behalf of the “health minister” in the Salvation Government, a body that manages civilian affairs in the Idlib region, which is controlled by the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham (Ibaa, July 26, 2020). It can be assumed that the number of active cases in the Idlib region is higher.
ISIS’s activity in Syria
The region of Deir ez-Zor, Al-Mayadeen, and Albukamal
  • On July 26, 2020, two SDF fighters were targeted by machine gun fire about 5 km east of Al-Mayadeen. They were both killed (Telegram, July 26, 2020).
Al-Raqqah region
  • On July 28, 2020, an IED was activated at the home of an SDF fighter is Al-Raqqah. The house was damaged (Telegram, July 28, 2020).
  • On July 27, 2020, two IEDs were activated against the home of an SDF fighter about 70 km southeast of Al-Raqqah. Three people were wounded (Telegram, July 27, 2020).
  • On July 24, 2020, ISIS operatives activated an IED planted at the home of an SDF intelligence operative about 20 km north of Al-Raqqah (Telegram, July 24, 2020).
  • On July 22, 2020, an IED was activated against an SDF vehicle about 20 km west of Al-Raqqah. An SDF fighter was wounded (Telegram, July 23, 2020).
The area north of Aleppo
  • On July 27, 2020, an IED was activated against a vehicle of the Turkish-sponsored rebel organizations near the Syrian-Turkish border. The passengers were killed or wounded (Telegram, July 28, 2020).
  • On July 26, 2020, an IED was activated against a vehicle of the Turkish-sponsored rebel organizations north of Aleppo (several kilometers south of the Syrian-Turkish border). Several fighters were killed or wounded (Telegram, July 26, 2020).
  • On July 25, 2020, an IED was activated against a Turkish army armored vehicle northeast of Aleppo (near the Syrian-Turkish border). The vehicle was damaged (Telegram, July 25, 2020).
The area southeast of Aleppo
  • On July 27, 2020, Syrian soldiers were targeted by machine gun fire in the Dreyhem area, about 65 km southeast of Aleppo. Four soldiers were killed. In addition, arms and ammunition were seized (Telegram, July 28, 2020).
Southern Syria
ISIS’s suicide bombing attack in Daraa

ISIS reported that on July 21, 2020, a suicide bomber blew himself up among Syrian Military Security soldiers in the Daraa al-Balad area in the southern part of the city of Daraa. An ISIS operative codenamed Abu Hamza the Syrian arrived at the scene of the attack riding a motorcycle. Two soldiers were killed and several people were wounded (Telegram, July 22, 2020). According to the Syrian media, a senior Military Security official who was the target of the attack was killed.

  • Syrian media outlets affiliated with the regime or with the rebel organizations published other versions (some of them contradictory to the above) of the attack:
    • The suicide bomber, who arrived on a motorcycle, carried an IED which he detonated among a crowd of people in Daraa al-Balad. One civilian was killed and 10 others were wounded, most of them severely. The body of the suicide bomber was found at the site (SANA, July 21, 2020).
    • According to a website affiliated with the rebel organizations, a motorcycle bomb was detonated near the house of Mustafa al-Masalmeh, who formerly belonged to the Free Syrian Army and recently served as commander of one of the forces belonging to Military Security. Several attempts on his life carried out in the past were unsuccessful. Two people were killed in the attack (Enab Baladi, July 22, 2020).
    •  On July 21, 2020, a local news website reported an explosion near the house of Mustafa al-Masalmeh, who was a member of Military Security and former operative in the rebel organizations, until the reconciliation agreement in 2018 (Daraa 24 Facebook page, July 21, 2020).

Mustafa al-Masalmeh, the target of the suicide bombing attack (Enab Baladi, a Syrian news website affiliated with the rebel organizations, July 22, 2020)
Mustafa al-Masalmeh, the target of the suicide bombing attack (Enab Baladi, a Syrian news website affiliated with the rebel organizations, July 22, 2020)

Another incident
  • On July 26, 2020, operatives of ISIS’s Horan Province activated an IED against a vehicle carrying Syrian soldiers near Al-Sakariya, about 5 km northwest of Nawa (about 9 km east of the Syrian-Israeli border, about 35 km northwest of Daraa). A total of 10 soldiers were killed or wounded (Telegram, July 27, 2020).
Al-Sukhnah-Palmyra region (the Syrian Desert)
  • On July 28, 2020, ISIS operatives exchanged fire with Syrian soldiers about 60 km northeast of Palmyra. One soldier was killed (Telegram, July 28, 2020).
  • On July 26, 2020, fighters of the forces supporting the Syrian army were targeted by machine gun fire about 60 km northeast of Palmyra. Two fighters were killed (Telegram, July 28, 2020).
  • On July 26, 2020, ISIS operatives took two Syrian soldiers prisoner west of Al-Sukhnah, 60 km northeast of Palmyra). They were both executed (Telegram, July 28, 2020).
ISIS’s activity in the Iraqi arena

Map of Iraqi provinces (Wikipedia)
Map of Iraqi provinces (Wikipedia)

Attacks for which ISIS claimed responsibility
Diyala Province
  • On July 27, 2020, a sticky bomb was activated against a vehicle carrying a fighter of the Counterterrorism Unit in central Baqubah. The fighter was killed (Telegram, July 28, 2020).
  • On July 26, 2020, two IEDs were activated against two Popular Mobilization vehicles about 60 km north of Baqubah. Several fighters were wounded (Telegram, July 28, 2020).
  • On July 26, 2020, an IED was activated against a vehicle of the Iraqi Interior Ministry’s Commando Unit about 60 km north of Baqubah. The passengers were killed or wounded (Telegram, July 28, 2020).
  • On July 25, 2020, two Popular Mobilization fighters were targeted by sniper fire about 60 km north of Baqubah. They were wounded (Telegram, July 27, 2020).
  • On July 21, 2020, Iraqi Interior Ministry Commando Unit operatives were targeted by sniper fire west of Khanaqin, about 100 km northeast of Baqubah. Two commandos were killed and five others wounded (Telegram, July 22, 2020).
  • On July 21, 2020, Tribal Mobilization fighters were targeted by sniper fire about 40 km northeast of Baqubah. Two fighters were killed and another was wounded (Telegram, July 22, 2020).
Al-Anbar Province
  • On July 27, 2020, an IED was activated against an Iraqi army vehicle east of the city of Kabisa, about 20 km west of Hit. Two soldiers were killed and another was wounded (Telegram, July 28, 2020).
  • On July 25, 2020, a motorcycle bomb was activated against Iraqi soldiers east of Kabisa. Two soldiers were killed and another was wounded (Telegram, July 25, 2020).
  • On July 25, 2020, several mortar shells were fired at an Iraqi army compound about 160 km west of Ramadi. According to ISIS, accurate hits were observed (Telegram, July 26, 2020).
  • On July 22, 2020, Tribal Mobilization fighters were targeted by sniper fire about 3 km west of Hit. One fighter was killed and another was wounded. At the same place, an IED was activated against an Iraqi army vehicle. The passengers were killed or wounded (Telegram, July 23, 2020).
Salah al-Din Province
  • On June 24, 2020, ISIS operatives raided a village northwest of Samarra. They captured two mukhtars, two policemen, and one “agent.” The five men were executed (Telegram, July 25, 2020).
Counterterrorist activity of the Iraqi security forces
Diyala Province
  •  On July 26, 2020, the Iraqi security forces, operating along with a Popular Mobilization force, located an ISIS hideout in the Khanaqin area, about 100 km northeast of Baqubah. They found there substances for manufacturing IEDs, explosive belts, and explosives (Facebook page of the Iraqi Defense Ministry, July 26, 2020).
Explosive belt and explosives seized by the Iraqi security forces (Facebook page of the Iraqi Defense Ministry, July 26, 2020)    Explosive belt and explosives seized by the Iraqi security forces (Facebook page of the Iraqi Defense Ministry, July 26, 2020)
Explosive belt and explosives seized by the Iraqi security forces
(Facebook page of the Iraqi Defense Ministry, July 26, 2020)
Salah al-Din Province
  • On July 26, 2020, during Operation Heroes of Iraq, the Iraqi security forces located an underground ISIS depot containing over 20 rockets (Al-Sumaria, July 26, 2020).
The Sinai Peninsula
Large-scale attack in the Bir al-Abd area (update)[2]

On July 24, 2020, ISIS claimed responsibility for the large-scale attack carried out against an Egyptian army camp and checkpoint near the village of Rabi’a (west of Bir al-Abd, about 30 km from the Suez Canal). According to ISIS’s claim of responsibility, two suicide bombers detonated two car bombs among security guards in an army camp and a security center of the Egyptian army and Egyptian police[3]. After the detonation of the car bombs, ISIS operatives launched an attack. According to ISIS’s report, 40 Egyptian soldiers and policemen were killed, and over 60 were wounded (Telegram, July 24, 2020). The Egyptian army has so far refrained from issuing an official report on the attack and the losses it sustained, probably because of embarrassment over the large number of casualties.

Abu Sanad al-Ansari (Telegram, July 28, 2020)     Karar al-Maqdisi .
The two suicide bombers who detonated the car bombs. Right: Karar al-Maqdisi[4]. Left: Abu Sanad al-Ansari (Telegram, July 28, 2020)

The site of the attack near the village of Rabi’a, near the coastal highway west of Bir al-Abd (Google Maps)
The site of the attack near the village of Rabi’a, near the coastal highway west of Bir al-Abd (Google Maps)

Activity that followed the attack in Rabi’a: takeover of several villages by ISIS operatives (initial overview)

According to media reports, on July 21, 2020, after the attack, ISIS operatives took control of four villages south of Rabi’a. At this stage it is unclear whether this was an exploitation of success of the attack in Rabi’a, or advance planning to take over the villages. The four villages are Aqtia (2,550 residents), Qatia (3,155 residents), Janain (825 residents) and Al-Marih (2,635 residents) (Mada Masr website, July 27, 2020). On July 27, 2020, it was reported that ISIS operatives were staying in these villages for the sixth consecutive day (Al-Khaleej al-Jadeed, July 27, 2020). It is unclear whether the ISIS operatives are still in the villages.

The four villages taken over by ISIS. The upper mark (with the skull) indicates the site of the attack near the village of Rabi’a (Mada Masr, July 27, 2020).
The four villages taken over by ISIS. The upper mark (with the skull) indicates the site of the attack near the village of Rabi’a (Mada Masr, July 27, 2020).
  • The Egyptian security forces blocked the roads leading to the villages. The international highway between Port Said and Al-Arish was blocked to traffic. The residents of the villages were ordered by the Egyptian army to leave. The Egyptian security forces reportedly exchanged fire with “gunmen” in these villages. Aircraft and tanks fired at the villages (Anbaa Sinaa and Shahed Sinaa Facebook pages, July 27, 2020). An Egyptian officer with the rank of lieutenant colonel was killed in these incidents (Al-Khaleej al-Jadeed, July 27, 2020). The Bir al-Abd city council announced that it was preparing accommodation for refugees from the villages at schools and public institutions (Shahed Sinaa Facebook page, July 24, 2020).
Residents fleeing from the villages taken over by ISIS (YouTube, July 27, 2020)   Residents fleeing from the villages taken over by ISIS (YouTube, July 27, 2020)
Residents fleeing from the villages taken over by ISIS
(YouTube, July 27, 2020)
  • According to one report, ISIS operatives waved ISIS flags at the entrance to the villages they had taken over. Some residents assented to the calls by the Egyptian army and left the villages, but many families remained in their homes. ISIS operatives began to communicate with the residents. They distributed candy to the children, held a joint meal with the residents in the village of Qatia, and asked them to observe their daily routine. The operatives asked some of the young people not to smoke, on the grounds that it is forbidden (according to ISIS’s extreme interpretation of Islam) (Mada Masr website, July 27, 2020).
Additional attacks in the area of the village of Rabi’a
Abduction and execution of Egyptian military personnel
  •  On July 25, 2020, during the incidents in the Rabi’a area, ISIS operatives abducted an Egyptian officer on the highway between Al-Qantara and Al-Arish (Shahed Sinaa – Al-Rasmia Facebook page, July 25, 2020). He was executed. The abduction and execution were documented in a video and posted on YouTube. In the ITIC’s assessment, the documentation of the abduction is intended to sow fear among the Egyptian security forces and to enhance ISIS’s prestige among the local residents (Telegram, July 28, 2020).
  • On July 23, 2020, an Egyptian soldier with the rank of sergeant major was abducted from a checkpoint and executed shortly thereafter (Shahed Sinaa – Al-Rasmia Facebook page; Al-Masry al-Youm, July 23, 2020). To date, no organization has claimed responsibility for the abduction, but it was apparently carried out by ISIS.

The Egyptian soldier who was abducted and later executed (Shahed Sinaa – Al-Rasmia Facebook page, July 23, 2020)
The Egyptian soldier who was abducted and later executed
(Shahed Sinaa – Al-Rasmia Facebook page, July 23, 2020)

Additional incidents in the Rabi’a area
  • On July 25, 2020, an IED was activated and an RPG was fired at an Egyptian army vehicle and tank. Several soldiers were wounded (Shahed Sinaa – Al-Rasmia Facebook page, July 25, 2020)
  • On July 27, 2020, two Egyptian soldiers were targeted by sniper fire. One soldier was killed and another was wounded (Telegram, July 27, 2020).
ISIS’s activity around the globe
Africa
Nigeria
  • On July 27, 2020, ISIS operatives attacked positions of the Nigerian army and police forces supporting the Nigerian army in the town of Magumeri, about 40 km northwest of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State. Three soldiers were killed, others were wounded, and one was taken prisoner by ISIS. In addition, weapons and ammunition were seized (Telegram, July 27, 2020).
  • On July 26, 2020, ISIS operatives ambushed Nigerian soldiers about 50 km west of the Nigeria-Chad-Cameroon tri-border area (about 25 km southwest of the border between Nigeria and Chad). Several soldiers were killed or wounded (Telegram, July 27, 2020).
  • On July 25, 2020, ISIS operatives attacked a Nigerian army compound in northeastern Nigeria. Several soldiers were killed or wounded (Telegram, July 27, 2020).
  • On July 23, 2020, a commander and two fighters of forces supporting the Nigerian army were targeted by machine gun fire about 90 km southwest of Maiduguri. All three were killed (Telegram, July 24, 2020).
  • On July 23, 2020, ISIS operatives attacked a Nigerian army patrol in Borno State. Several soldiers were killed or wounded in the attack (Telegram, July 24, 2020). It was noted that the attack was carried out as part of the Raids of Attrition.
  • On July 23, 2020, ISIS operatives took a Christian civilian prisoner on a road southwest of Maiduguri in Borno State. He was shot to death (Telegram, July 24, 2020).
  • On July 23, 2020, ISIS operatives attacked a Nigerian and Cameroonian army compound in Borno State in northeastern Nigeria. Several soldiers were killed or wounded (Telegram, July 23, 2020).
Niger
  • On July 25, 2020, an ISIS operative fired a machine gun at a group of Nigerian soldiers in the city of Diffa, at the southeastern end of Niger (about 2.5 km north of the border between Niger and Nigeria). Three soldiers were killed and several others were wounded (Telegram, July 26, 2020).
  • On July 23, 2020, ISIS operatives set fire to seven government buildings in the city of Diffa, in southeastern Niger, about 2.5 km north of the border between Niger and Nigeria (Telegram, July 24, 2020).
Cameroon
  • On July 27, 2020, ISIS operatives attacked a Cameroonian army compound in northern Cameroon (near the border between Cameroon and Nigeria). Several soldiers were killed or wounded (Telegram, July 27, 2020).
Somalia
  • On July 23, 2020, ISIS operatives threw hand grenades at a Somalian police checkpoint in Mogadishu. Four policemen were wounded (Telegram, July 23, 2020).
  • On July 22, 2020, operatives of ISIS’s Somalia Province exchanged fire for several hours with joint patrols of US and Somali forces in the state of Puntland, southeast of the city of Bosaso, on the shores of the Gulf of Aden. According to ISIS, at least seven fighters were killed or wounded (Telegram, July 22, 2020). The exchange of fire began following artillery fire at positions of ISIS operatives in the area, and an attempt by US and Somali forces to advance to the area of the positions. ISIS operatives later prevented them from advancing, but the joint forces received assistance from planes, which attacked and destroyed ISIS’s positions (ISIS’s Al-Naba’ weekly, as posted on Telegram, July 23, 2020).

Text of the article published in Al-Naba’: The article states that this is a photo taken by ISIS operatives who are tracking the US and Somali forces in the area where the exchange of fire took place (Al-Naba’, as posted on Telegram, July 23, 2020)
Text of the article published in Al-Naba’: The article states that this is a photo taken by ISIS operatives who are tracking the US and Somali forces in the area where the exchange of fire took place (Al-Naba’, as posted on Telegram, July 23, 2020)

  • On July 21, 2020, US aircraft attacked operatives of ISIS’s Somalia Province after the latter had attacked a Somali force earlier that day about 140 km southeast of Bosaso. An estimated seven ISIS operatives were killed. During the attack, US soldiers were reportedly stationed in the area to advise and assist Somali army (AFRICOM, July 22, 2020).

Right: Bosaso, which is located in the northern part of the state of Puntland in Somalia (Wikimedia). Left: Bosaso in northern Somalia (Google Maps).
Right: Bosaso, which is located in the northern part of the state of Puntland in Somalia (Wikimedia). Left: Bosaso in northern Somalia (Google Maps).

Asia
The Philippines
  • On July 25, 2020, operatives of ISIS’s East Asia Province broke into a house where “agents” of the Philippine army were staying on the island of Mindanao in the south of the country. Three “agents” were killed. In addition, weapons and ammunition were seized (Telegram, July 26, 2020).
  • On July 24, 2020, operatives of ISIS’s East Asia Province fired a number of antitank rockets at a Philippine army compound on the island of Mindanao. Several soldiers were killed or wounded (Telegram, July 26, 2020).
Afghanistan
  • On July 28, 2020, an IED was activated against an Afghan police vehicle in Jalalabad. Four policemen were killed or wounded (Telegram, July 28, 2020).
  • On July 26, 2020, a sticky bomb was activated against the vehicle of an “agent” of the Afghan National Directorate of Security in the eastern Nangarhar Province. He was wounded (Telegram, July 27, 2020).
  • On July 25, 2020, an investigator of the Afghan National Directorate of Security was targeted by gunfire in the city of Jalalabad. He was killed (Telegram, July 25, 2020).
Pakistan
  • On July 24, 2020, a Taliban operative was targeted by gunfire in the town of Mamund, about 200 km northwest of Islamabad (near the border with Afghanistan). He was wounded (Telegram, July 25, 2020).
Yemen
  • On July 26, 2020, an IED was activated against Houthi rebels in Qifah, in the northwestern Al-Bayda Province (about 100 km southeast of Sana’a). Three Houthi rebels were wounded (Telegram, July 26, 2020).
  • On July 25, 2020, ISIS operatives attacked four positions of the Houthi rebels in Qifah, in the northwestern Al-Bayda Province. Several rebels were wounded (Telegram, July 26, 2020).
The battle for hearts and minds
New ISIS propaganda video calls on its operatives and supporters to carry out terrorist attacks around the world
  • On July 26, 2020, ISIS’s Al-Hayat Media Foundation released a propaganda video calling on its operatives and supporters to carry out jihad all over the world, against the “infidels” and “enemies of Allah,” mentioning the United States, Israel, Turkey, Iran, France, Canada and other countries. The video calls on ISIS’s supporters and operatives to fight the “infidels” through arson, with an emphasis on setting fire to forests, agricultural areas, buildings, factories, and the like, in order to cause great financial damage to the “infidel” countries. The video was released simultaneously in Arabic and English (Telegram, July 26, 2020).
Flags of some of the “infidel” countries that appear in the video. The Israeli flag is one of them (Telegram, July 26, 2020).    The United States, US President Donald Trump, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, intimating that Western countries and Egypt are ISIS’s targets.
Right: The United States, US President Donald Trump, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, intimating that Western countries and Egypt are ISIS’s targets. Left: Flags of some of the “infidel” countries that appear in the video. The Israeli flag is one of them (Telegram, July 26, 2020).

[1] The previous wave of attacks called Raids of Attrition started on May 14, 2020, and ended on May 24, 2020. Over 100 attacks were carried out within 10 days, mostly in Iraq (about 40) and Syria (about 30). They were followed by Nigeria (8) and other provinces in Africa and Asia (sporadic attacks in every province).

[2] For an initial report on the attack, see Spotlight on Global Jihad, July 16-22, 2020.


[3] ISIS’s claim of responsibility was issued three days after the attack. In the ITIC’s assessment, this may indicate difficulties in relaying claims of responsibility from ISIS’s media network in the Sinai Peninsula to ISIS’s central media system.


[4] Maqdisi means “from Jerusalem,” and in a broader sense “Palestinian.” The suicide bomber may have been Palestinian.



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