Spotlight on Global Jihad (October 1-14, 2020)

0
16


Main events of the last two weeks
  • In the Idlib area, there was an increase in the intensity of the incidents between Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and the Syrian army in the first half of October 2020. At the same time, HTS is carrying out intensive military activity against rival jihadist groups with the aim of strengthening its control in the Idlib region.
  • Routine activity continued in ISIS’s various provinces. Noteworthy activity during the last two weeks:
    • Syria: Intensive activity was carried out in the Euphrates Valley, mainly in the region between Al-Baghouz and Al-Mayadeen. The common attacks were attacking roadblocks of the SDF forces, activating IEDs, targeted killings and attacking oil tankers. Attacks against the Syrian army also continued in the desert region of eastern Syria.
    • Iraq: ISIS operatives killed another senior officer in the Iraqi security forces (with the rank of brigadier general) by activating an IED against his vehicle. This is the fifth senior commander killed by ISIS in recent months. ISIS’s success in eliminating these commanders is an expression of the improvement in its military capabilities in Iraq. However, in the first half of October, the Iraqi security forces carried out intensive counterterrorism activity, apprehending senior ISIS operatives and destroying weapons depots.
    • The Sinai Peninsula: ISIS continues its guerrilla activity against the Egyptian security forces in northern Sinai, especially in the Bir al-Abd-Rabi’a region. Residents of the villages in the region, who had fled from their homes, held a demonstration demanding that they be allowed to return to their villages. So far, only some of the residents have returned because the security situation in the region has not yet stabilized.
  • The Syrian Democratic Council, the civilian wing of the SDF, announced (October 5, 2020) its intention to release 25,000 wives and children of ISIS operatives detained in the Al-Hawl camp. The intention is to release them gradually. On October 13, 2020, the first group of families was released and returned to their places of residence in the Deir ez-Zor region, under the supervision of the local council. There are apparently two reasons behind the release: the stated reason is the Kurds’ desire to alleviate the financial and administrative pressure involved in maintaining the detention camp. The other reason is the desire to appease the Sunni-Arab population living in the Euphrates Valley region.
ISIS’s activity around the world
Summary of ISIS activity (late September, early October)
  • On October 8, 2020, ISIS’s Al-Naba’ weekly published an infographic entitled “The Harvest of the Fighters,” summarizing ISIS’s activity on October 1-7, 2020. According to the infographic, during this period ISIS carried out 37 attacks around the world, compared to 47 in the previous week (i.e., a decrease of about 21% in the number of the attacks). A total of 21 attacks were carried out in Iraq, 10 of them in the Diyala Province. Attacks were also carried out in ISIS’s other provinces in Africa and Asia: Syria (10); West Africa (4); Sinai Peninsula (2) (Al-Naba’ weekly, Telegram, October 8, 2020).
  • On October 1, 2020, ISIS’s Al-Naba’ weekly published an infographic summarizing ISIS’s activity on September 24-30, 2020. During this period ISIS carried out 47 attacks around the world, compared to 58 in the previous week (i.e., a decrease of about 19% in the number of the attacks). A total of 21 attacks were carried out in Iraq, 6 of them in the Kirkuk Province. Attacks were also carried out in ISIS’s other provinces in Africa and Asia: West Africa (13); Syria (8); Sinai Peninsula (4); and East Asia [the Philippines] (1) (Al-Naba’ weekly, Telegram, October 1, 2020). A total of over 122 people were killed and wounded in these attacks, compared to 119 in the previous week. The largest number of casualties (71) was in West Africa. The other casualties were in the following provinces: Iraq (32); Syria (14); East Asia [the Philippines] (3); and the Sinai Peninsula (2) (Telegram, October 1, 2020).
The Syrian arena
The Idlib region

In the Idlib region, exchanges of artillery fire continued between the Syrian army and the forces supporting it, and the rebel organizations, mainly HTS. The exchanges of fire were in a region several dozen kilometers south and southwest of Idlib. According to the ITIC’s impression, in the first half of October 2020, there has been an increase in the intensity of the incidents.

HTS activity against rival jihadist organizations

As part of the HTS efforts to establish its control in the Idlib region and suppress rival jihadist organizations, on October 10, 2020, an HTS force raided the village of Taladah (about 40 km north of Idlib, about 9 km from the Turkish border), where there was a concentration of operatives of the Guardians of Religion Organization (affiliated with Al-Qaeda) and ISIS.

The village of Taladah (in red) and the city of Idlib (in black) (Google Maps)     The village of Taladah (@fromidlib Twitter account, which belongs to a website affiliated with the rebels in Syria, October 10, 2020).
Right: The village of Taladah (@fromidlib Twitter account, which belongs to a website affiliated with the rebels in Syria, October 10, 2020). Left: The village of Taladah (in red) and the city of Idlib (in black) (Google Maps)
  • Fierce clashes broke out in Taladah between the raiding force and the jihadist operatives and maybe also with operatives of Turkish-sponsored rebel organizations in the village. In view of the resistance that it was facing, HTS reinforced its troops, deployed a tank force and blocked all the roads leading to the village. At the end of the fighting, HTS took over the village. According to HTS, 13 operatives were killed in the clashes, most of them from ISIS, and dozens of others were detained (Ibaa, October 11, 2020; Khotwa, October 10-11, 2020). On the other hand, according to an announcement published by dignitaries of the village of Taladah, there were no ISIS operatives in the village. The operatives were allegedly supporters of a former HTS commander by the name of Qutaiba al-Barsha (see below) and operatives of Faylaq al-Sham[1] (@Doctorpoliticay Twitter account, October 11, 2020).
HTS tank in the village of Taladah (@bWWcAJ1d3GsTf0m Twitter account, October 10, 2020)    HTS fire at the village of Taladah (@Rhoof36 Twitter account, affiliated with Turkish-sponsored rebel organizations, October 10, 2020).
Right: HTS fire at the village of Taladah (@Rhoof36 Twitter account, affiliated with Turkish-sponsored rebel organizations, October 10, 2020). Left: HTS tank in the village of Taladah (@bWWcAJ1d3GsTf0m Twitter account, October 10, 2020)
  • According to an operative affiliated with the Guardians of Religion Organization, the purpose of the raid on Taladah was to capture Qutaiba al-Barsha, an operative who left HTS and joined the Guardians of Religion Organization[2]. Qutaiba al-Barsha was reportedly killed in the fighting and his house blown up (Khotwa, October 10, 2020; @abbas0_9 Twitter account, October 11, 2020). It was also reported that 18 of his men had been killed in the fighting (@Doctorpoliticay Twitter account, October 11, 2020). According to another version, Qutaiba al-Barsha managed to escape, along with several of his supporters, and HTS operatives pursued him (Syria.TV, a news website affiliated with the Turkish-sponsored rebel organizations, October 11, 2020).
The house of Qutaiba al-Barsha which was demolished by HTS (Khotwa, October 11, 2020)
The house of Qutaiba al-Barsha which was demolished by HTS (Khotwa, October 11, 2020)
ISIS’s activity in the Syria Province[3]
The region of Deir ez-Zor and Al-Mayadeen

In the first half of October 2020, ISIS carried out intensive activity in the region between Al-Baghouz and Al-Mayadeen. Most of ISIS’s activity consisted of attacking SDF roadblocks, detonating IEDs against vehicles, targeted killings, and attacking oil tankers.

  • On October 10, 2020, an IED was activated against an SDF vehicle about 10 km northeast of Albukamal. The passengers were killed or wounded.
  • On October 10, 2020, an SDF headquarters was targeted by machine gun fire about 20 km southeast of Al-Mayadeen. Two fighters were wounded.
  • On October 10, 2020, an IED was activated against a tanker carrying oil for the Syrian regime, on the road leading to the Al-Omar oilfield, about 10 km north of Al-Mayadeen. The tanker was damaged.
  • On October 9, 2020, an IED was activated against an SDF vehicle about 25 km north of Albukamal. One fighter was killed and several others were wounded.
  • On October 9, 2020, an SDF roadblock was targeted by machine gun fire about 1.5 km east of Albukamal. Two fighters were wounded.
  • On October 9, 2020, an SDF roadblock was targeted by machine gun fire about 10 km north of Al-Mayadeen. One fighter was killed and another was wounded.
  • On October 9, 2020, an SDF roadblock was targeted by machine gun fire about 25 km north of Al-Mayadeen. Several fighters were wounded.
  • On October 8, 2020, two SDF fighters were killed by gunfire in the Al-Mayadeen area.
  • On October 8, 2020, an IED was activated against an SDF vehicle about 20 km north of Al-Mayadeen. The vehicle was damaged.
  • On October 7, 2020, a member of a local council subordinate to the SDF in the village of Shahil, about 10 km north of Al-Mayadeen, was targeted by machine gun fire. He was killed.
  • On October 7, 2020, an IED was activated against a tanker carrying oil for the Syrian regime, on the road leading to the Al-Omar oilfield, about 10 km north of Al-Mayadeen.
  • On October 7, 2020, two IEDs were activated, apparently by ISIS, against a force of the Abu Fadl al-Abbas Brigade in the Al-Mayadeen Desert. Two fighters were killed and about 7 others were wounded (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, October 7, 2020). This is a Shiite militia handled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards[4].
The Aleppo region
  • On October 3, 2020, an IED was activated against forces of Turkish-sponsored rebel organizations near a roadblock in the city of Al-Bab, about 30 km northeast of Aleppo. Three fighters were killed and five others were wounded.
The Al-Hasakah region
  • On October 1, 2020, an IED was activated against a gas pipeline near the Al-Shadadi gas facility, about 50 km south of Al-Hasakah. The gas pipeline exploded.
The Al-Raqqah region
  • On October 7, 2020, an IED was activated against an SDF vehicle in the Al-Raqqah region. The passengers were killed or wounded.
  • On October 7, 2020, an IED was activated against an SDF vehicle about 10 km north of Al-Raqqah. The passengers were killed or wounded.
  • On October 6, 2020, an SDF roadblock on the western entrance to the city of Al-Raqqah was targeted by machine gun fire. One fighter was killed and three others were wounded.
  • On October 2, 2020, ISIS operatives attacked a roadblock of the Syrian army and the forces supporting it near the village of Rasafah, about 40 km southwest of Al-Raqqah. Ten Syrian soldiers were killed and others were wounded (SY24, October 4, 2020).
The desert region in eastern Syria (Badia)
  • On October 5, 2020, ISIS operatives attacked staging zones of the Syrian army and the forces supporting it near the Al-Dabayat gas field, in the Al-Sukhnah Desert. The Syrian forces sustained at least 30 casualties. ISIS reportedly took control of the gas field in September 2020, but the Syrian army and the forces supporting it regained control of the area with Russian air support (Al-Badia 24, October 6, 2020). The Al-Dabayat gas field supplies gas to the Homs area (Baladi, a Syrian news website affiliated with the rebel forces, October 6, 2020).

The Al-Dabayat gas field (in red) and Al-Sukhnah (in black) (Wikimapia)
The Al-Dabayat gas field (in red) and Al-Sukhnah (in black) (Wikimapia)

  • On October 11, 2020, ISIS operatives attacked positions of the Syrian army and the forces supporting it in the Aqirbat area, about 65 km east of Hama. About 5 soldiers were killed or wounded. Russian aircraft carried out several airstrikes in support of the Syrian forces (Al-Badia 24, October 12, 2020).
Aqirbat (marked in red) (Google Maps)
Aqirbat (marked in red) (Google Maps)
Release of family members of ISIS operatives
  • On October 5, 2020, the chairwoman of the Syrian Democratic Council, the SDF’s civilian wing, announced that 25,000 prisoners with Syrian citizenship would be released from the Al-Hawl detention camp as part of a “general pardon.” These are wives and children of ISIS operatives who were captured by the SDF during the fighting in the Euphrates Valley. According to the announcement, the purpose of their release is to alleviate the financial and administrative pressure involved in the maintenance of the detention camp, in terms of the provision of food, water and equipment, as well as security (@Rojava Information Center Twitter account, affiliated with the SDF, October 5, 2020). In the ITIC’s assessment, another reason for their release is the Kurds’ interest to appease the Sunni-Arab population living in the Euphrates Valley.
  • The release will reportedly take place in stages. In the first stage, families from northern and eastern Syria will be released. In the next stages, families from the regions controlled by the Syrian regime and Turkey will be released. So far, the manner of their release has not been determined yet. As for families from Iraq, it is intended to release them, but according to the SDF, the Iraqi government is delaying it (Rojava Information Center, October 5-7, 2020).
  • On October 13, 2020, the first stage took place, with families from the Deir ez-Zor Governorate being released. The release was carried out under the supervision of the local civilian council of Deir ez-Zor. The people released were returned to their homes in vans and trucks (Deir ez-Zor 24 Twitter account, October 13, 2020).
  • According to Arab media, about 28,000 Syrian citizens and about 30,000 Iraqi citizens are currently detained in the Al-Hawl camp (about 36 km east of Al-Hasakah). In addition, about 10,000 ISIS operatives from other countries are among the detainees. They are held in a secured tent camp referred to as Al-Mulhaq (i.e., The Annex). In total, there are currently about 68,000 people in the Al-Hawl camp (Al-Jazeera, October 5, 2020; Al-Arabiya, October 6, 2020).
Repatriating ISIS operatives to the United States
  • On October 1, 2020, the SDF forces handed over to the US 27 American detainees affiliated with ISIS, who had operated in Syria and Iraq. Ten of them are charged with terrorism-related offenses or have already been tried and convicted. The remaining 17 (15 of whom are minors) have still not been put on trial (US Department of Justice, October 1, 2020).

Announcement of the US Department of Justice on the extradition of the American detainees (US Department of Justice website, October 1, 2020)

Announcement of the US Department of Justice on the extradition of the American detainees
(US Department of Justice website, October 1, 2020)

  • On October 7, 2020, two ISIS operatives were extradited to the US in advance of their trial on charges of killing American hostages in Syria. Over the past year, the two operatives, Alexander Amon and El Shafee Elsheikh, were held by the US military in Iraq. The two operatives were British citizens who had been raised in Britain, but the British government revoked their citizenship. The two were members of a group of four British citizens who abducted western hostages and executed them[5]. Among those executed were American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and aid workers Kayla Mueller and Peter Kassig (Reuters, October 7, 2020; Sawt al-Iraq, October 8, 2020).
 The Iraqi arena
The provinces in Iraq (Wikipedia)
The provinces in Iraq (Wikipedia)
The killing of another senior officer in the Iraqi security forces
  •  On September 30, 2020, an IED was activated against a vehicle carrying out searches about 50 km northwest of Baiji. The explosion killed Amid (Brigadier General) Mu’tasim al-Qaisi, commander of Foj 12 of the Iraqi police emergency force in the Salah al-Din Province. The explosion also killed an officer with the rank of naqib (captain) and another person, possibly a policeman (Iraqi Afaq TV, September 30, 2020).
Amid (Brigadier General) Mu’tasim al-Qaisi (Iraqi Afaq TV, September 30, 2020)
Amid (Brigadier General) Mu’tasim al-Qaisi (Iraqi Afaq TV, September 30, 2020)

This is the fifth senior commander of the Iraqi security forces killed by ISIS in recent months. ISIS’s success in eliminating senior commanders (with the rank of colonel to brigadier general) is an expression of the improvement in its military capabilities in the Iraqi arena[6].

  • ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. According to the claim of responsibility, an IED was activated against Mu’tasim al-Qaisi’s vehicle northwest of Baiji. He was killed along with several of his security guards, and other security guards were wounded (Telegram, September 30, 2020).

ISIS attacks in the various provinces[7]

Diyala Province
  • On October 5, 2020, a number of mortar shells were fired at a group of Tribal Mobilization forces about 80 km northeast of Baqubah. Five fighters were wounded.
  • On October 5, 2020, a number of mortar shells were fired at a Shiite village about 70 km northeast of Baqubah. According to ISIS, accurate hits of the target were observed.
  • On October 1, 2020, Tribal Mobilization fighters were targeted by sniper fire about 35 km northeast of Baqubah. One fighter was killed and another was wounded.
Salah al-Din Province
  • On October 7, 2020, ISIS operatives ambushed and fired machine guns at Iraqi policemen north of the city of Samarra. One policeman was killed and others were wounded.
  • On October 7, 2020, an IED was activated against an Iraqi army foot patrol about 30 km north of Baghdad. Several soldiers were wounded.
  • On October 4, 2020, an Iraqi soldier was targeted by machine gun fire about 30 km north of Baghdad. He was killed.
Al-Anbar Province
  • On October 5, 2020, an IED was activated against a Popular Mobilization vehicle on the road between Akashat (about 70 km north of Rutba) and Al-Qaim (near the border between Iraq and Syria). The vehicle was destroyed.
  • On October 5, 2020, a motorcycle bomb was activated against an Iraqi police patrol in Fallujah. One policeman was killed.
  • On October 8, 2020, a rocket was fired at a joint base of the US and Iraqi armies at Haditha Dam, about 200 km northwest of Baghdad.
Kirkuk Province
  • On October 6, 2020, an IED was activated against an Iraqi police vehicle about 40 km southwest of Kirkuk. The passengers were killed or wounded.
  • On October 5, 2020, ISIS operatives fired machine guns and threw hand grenades at a group of Iraqi policemen about 60 km west of Kirkuk. Five policemen were killed and two others were wounded.
Nineveh Province
  • On October 11, 2020, an IED was activated against an Iraqi army vehicle about 40 km south of Mosul. An officer and two soldiers were killed.
  • On October 9, 2020, ISIS operatives broke into the home of an Iraqi national guardsman and executed him, about 40 km northwest of Mosul.
Counterterrorism activities by the Iraqi security forces

In the first half of October 2020, Iraqi security forces carried out intensive counterterrorism activities against ISIS operatives in various regions. ISIS operatives, including senior operatives, were killed and captured, and vehicles and weapons depots were destroyed.

Al-Anbar Province
  • On October 9, 2020, the Iraqi Interior Ministry announced that an Iraqi army intelligence force had captured an ISIS squad that had carried out attacks in the Fallujah region (about 45 km west of Baghdad). In addition, the force captured the ISIS commander (emir) of the Fallujah region and the region’s chief military commander. The interrogation of the two commanders led to the discovery of sticky bombs and devices for activating IEDs (Al-Sharqiya Iraqi satellite TV channel, October 10, 2020).
  • On October 9, 2020, squads of the Iraqi National Security Forces apprehended four ISIS operatives in various regions of Al-Anbar Province. One of them had been in charge of finances in the Rutba sector, in the western Al-Anbar Province (Al-Sumaria, October 9, 2020).
  • On October 4, 2020, an Iraqi army helicopter force attacked ISIS vehicles south of Rutba, in the western Al-Anbar Province Two ISIS vehicles were destroyed and the passengers were killed. An ISIS hideout was also destroyed (Facebook page of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, October 4, 2020).
  • On October 4, 2020, Iraqi security forces operating in the western Al-Anbar Province located an ISIS weapons depot containing dozens of IEDs, explosive equipment and Katyusha rockets. The weapons were neutralized (Facebook page of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, October 4, 2020).
ISIS IEDs, tripwire and rockets found by the Iraqi army (Facebook page of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, October 4, 2020)   ISIS IEDs, tripwire and rockets found by the Iraqi army (Facebook page of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, October 4, 2020)
ISIS IEDs, tripwire and rockets found by the Iraqi army
(Facebook page of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, October 4, 2020)
Kirkuk Province
  • On October 7, 2020, Iraqi police ambushed and apprehended an ISIS commander who served as a mufti (an Islamic jurist issuing rulings on Islamic law) in the Kirkuk Province. In his initial interrogation, he admitted that he belonged to ISIS, claiming that he had provided logistical assistance to ISIS operatives. The detainee comes from a family of ISIS operatives (Al-Sumaria, October 7, 2020).
  • On October 10, 2020, a special Iraqi counterterrorism force was deployed by helicopter about 50 km southwest of Kirkuk. The force apprehended a senior ISIS commander (Al-Sumaria, October 10, 2020).
Nineveh Province
  • On October 13, 2020, an Iraqi army force carrying out searches in two villages in the Tal Afar region, about 40 km northwest of Mosul, located an ISIS weapons depot containing ammunition and IEDs (Facebook page of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, October 13, 2020).
  • On October 11, 2020, an Iraqi army force carried out searches about 100 km northwest of Mosul in the region near the Iraqi-Syrian border. The force located an ISIS weapons depot (Facebook page of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, October 11, 2020).
  • On October 4, 2020, Iraqi security forces apprehended eight ISIS operatives in eastern Mosul. The eight operatives had held various positions in ISIS when the organization controlled the city (Al-Sumaria, October 4, 2020).
  • On October 4, 2020, Iraqi Military Intelligence squads operating in the Nineveh Province located an ISIS shipping container that had been buried underground. Rockets and mortar shells were found inside the shipping container (Facebook page of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, October 4, 2020).
Weapons found inside a shipping container buried underground (Facebook page of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, October 4, 2020)     Weapons found inside a shipping container buried underground (Facebook page of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, October 4, 2020)
Weapons found inside a shipping container buried underground
(Facebook page of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, October 4, 2020)
Diyala Province
  • On October 3, 2020, a force of the counterterrorism unit, operating about 60 km north of Baqubah, killed two ISIS operatives. In addition, 20 ISIS hiding places in caves and under agricultural land were destroyed (Al-Sumaria, October 3, 2020).
Karbala Province
  • On October 8, 2020, Iraqi intelligence squads apprehended a wanted female ISIS operative in Karbala, about 75 km southwest of Baghdad. She had been engaged in ISIS’s media activity, managing accounts on social media with the goal of persuading women and teenage boys to join the organization. She also disseminated ISIS’s claims of responsibility for attacks on social media, along with videos documenting ISIS’s attacks (Al-Sumaria, October 8, 2020).
The Sinai Peninsula
The Bir al-Abd – Rabi’a region
  • On October 4, 2020, an IED was activated in Bir al-Abd, about 45 km west of Al-Arish. An Egyptian soldier was wounded (Shahed Sinaa – Al-Rasmia Facebook page, October 4, 2020).
  • On October 7, 2020, an IED was activated against an Egyptian army vehicle south of the village of Aqtia, south of Rabi’a. The passengers were killed or wounded (Telegram, October 9, 2020).
  • On October 9, 2020, an IED was activated against an Egyptian army tank in the village of Qatia, south of Rabi’a. The crew members were killed or wounded. The tank was damaged (Telegram, October 9, 2020).
Demonstration by residents of the villages in the Rabi’a region
  • On October 5, 2020, there was a demonstration by residents of the villages in the Rabi’a region demanding permission to return to their homes (Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, October 5, 2020). So far, only some of the residents who fled the villages have returned to their homes, due to the unstable security situation in the region.
Demonstration by villagers demanding to return to their homes (Al-Jazeera, October 5, 2020)    Demonstration by villagers demanding to return to their homes (Al-Jazeera, October 5, 2020)
Demonstration by villagers demanding to return to their homes (Al-Jazeera, October 5, 2020)
The Rafah region
  • On October 11, 2020, a rocket was fired at an Egyptian army bulldozer near the village of Rafia, south of Rafah. The bulldozer was destroyed (Telegram, October 12, 2020).
ISIS’s activity around the globe[8]
Africa
Nigeria
  • On October 12, 2020, ISIS operatives attacked a headquarters of the forces supporting the Nigerian army in Borno State. Several soldiers were killed or wounded and one was taken prisoner.
  • On October 8, 2020, ISIS operatives attacked forces supporting the Nigerian army and Christian civilians in a town in Borno State (northeastern Nigeria). One fighter and two Christian civilians were killed and others were wounded. In addition, weapons and ammunition were seized.
  • On October 8, 2020, ISIS operatives fired various weapons at Nigerian soldiers in Yobe State. Several soldiers were killed or wounded.
  • On October 8, 2020, ISIS operatives fired machine guns at fighters of the forces supporting the Nigerian army in Yobe State. Two fighters were killed and others were wounded In addition, weapons and ammunition were seized.
  • On October 6, 2020, ISIS operatives attacked a Nigerian army compound in the town of Gubio, about 80 km northwest of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State. Several soldiers were killed or wounded.
  • On October 5, 2020, two IEDs were activated against a Nigerian army foot patrol near the border with Chad. Six soldiers were killed.
  • On September 30, 2020, ISIS operatives ambushed and attacked a Nigerian army convoy northeast of Maiduguri. In addition, two IEDs were activated. According to ISIS, 15 soldiers were killed and others were wounded. In addition, weapons and ammunition were seized.
Niger
  • On October 12, 2020, ISIS operatives attacked a Niger army compound in southeastern Niger (about 3 km north of the Niger-Nigeria border). Several soldiers were killed or wounded.
Central Africa Province
  • On October 1, 2020, ISIS published an infographic summarizing its activity in the Central Africa Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania and Mozambique (during the period between September 30, 2019 and September 30, 2020). During this period, ISIS operatives carried out 118 attacks. A total of 941 people were killed and wounded in these attacks. Large-scale attacks against bases and facilities of local security forces caused the largest number of casualties (97). The rest of the casualties were the result of ambushes (8), targeted killings (7), IEDs (2) and other types of terrorist attacks (4) (Al-Naba’ weekly, Telegram, October 1, 2020). In addition, dozens of vehicles were seized or destroyed and dozens of [military] compounds and houses were set on fire (Al-Naba’ weekly, Telegram, October 1, 2020).
Counterterrorism and preventive activity
Network that helped fund jihadists in Syria exposed in France
  • On September 29, 2020, French police arrested 29 members of a network operating throughout France to fund jihadist operatives in Syria. The network, active since 2019, mostly operated via the purchase of crypto-currency coupons whose references were given to jihadist contacts in Syria and then credited to Bitcoin accounts. Two French jihadists, who were apparently the network’s planners, are suspected of being HTS operatives. In 2016, they were both sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison, and an international arrest warrant was issued against them (France24, September 25, 2020).
The battle for hearts and minds
  •  The latest issue of Al-Naba’ weekly included an article about two Indian brothers, codenamed Abu Rawaha the Indian and Abu Osama, converts to Islam who came to Afghanistan from India. They joined ISIS’s Khorasan Province. The article presents them as role models of adherence to Islam. In the ITIC’s assessment, this is a propaganda effort by ISIS aimed at recruiting Muslims from India, in order to expand the organization’s activity in Afghanistan and rebuild its Khorasan Province, which suffered a severe blow in the past year (Al-Naba’ weekly, as posted on Telegram, October 8, 2020).

Article about the two Indian brothers who joined ISIS’s Khorasan Province (Al-Naba’ weekly, as posted on Telegram, October 8, 2020)

Article about the two Indian brothers who joined ISIS’s Khorasan Province
(Al-Naba’ weekly, as posted on Telegram, October 8, 2020)

The post Spotlight on Global Jihad (October 1-14, 2020) appeared first on The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Enable Google Transliteration.(To type in English, press Ctrl+g)