Spotlight on Global Jihad (October 15-21, 2020)

0
23


Car going up in flames after being attacked by the American UAV (Edlib Media Center –EMC, October 15, 2020). Left: Passersby watching the burning car (Akhbar al-Aan 24 YouTube channel, a news website operating from the UAE, October 16, 2020)

Car going up in flames after being attacked by the American UAV (Edlib Media Center –EMC, October 15, 2020). Left: Passersby watching the burning car (Akhbar al-Aan 24 YouTube channel, a news website operating from the UAE, October 16, 2020)

Car going up in flames after being attacked by the American UAV (Edlib Media Center –EMC, October 15, 2020). Left: Passersby watching the burning car (Akhbar al-Aan 24 YouTube channel, a news website operating from the UAE, October 16, 2020)

Car going up in flames after being attacked by the American UAV (Edlib Media Center –EMC, October 15, 2020). Left: Passersby watching the burning car (Akhbar al-Aan 24 YouTube channel, a news website operating from the UAE, October 16, 2020)

House of the Tribal Mobilization fighter which was destroyed by the IED (Telegram, October 17, 2020)

House of the Tribal Mobilization fighter which was destroyed by the IED (Telegram, October 17, 2020)

Residents of the village of Qatia returning to their homes (Qatia News YouTube channel, October 12, 2020)

Residents of the village of Qatia returning to their homes (Qatia News YouTube channel, October 12, 2020)

Vehicle seized by ISIS while repelling the Nigerian army attack (Telegram, October 17, 2020)

Vehicle seized by ISIS while repelling the Nigerian army attack (Telegram, October 17, 2020)

Kangbayi Central Prison (John Kanyunyu@Kanyunyu Twitter account, owned by a freelance journalist from the city of Beni, Democratic Republic of Congo, October 20, 2020).

Kangbayi Central Prison (John [email protected] Twitter account, owned by a freelance journalist from the city of Beni, Democratic Republic of Congo, October 20, 2020).

Main events of the week
  • In the Idlib region, exchanges of artillery fire continued between the Syrian army and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), albeit at a somewhat lower intensity. An American UAV carried out an airstrike near the city of Idlib, killing two senior commanders of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Guardians of Religion Organization.
  • In Iraq, Syria and the Sinai Peninsula, ISIS has continued its routine activity. Noteworthy attacks this week in ISIS’s provinces in Central and West Africa:
    • In northwestern Nigeria (Borno State), ISIS’s attacks continued, with the Nigerian army sustaining many casualties (dozens killed and wounded). Among the ISIS’s provinces in Asia and Africa, Nigeria is the leading country in terms of the number of casualties.
    • In Tanzania, ISIS operatives attacked an army base in the southeast of the country for the first time. This is apparently a spillover of ISIS’s activity from northeastern Mozambique, where ISIS has established its presence.
    • In the Democratic Republic of Congo, ISIS claimed responsibility for breaking into the central prison in the northeast of the country, a region where the organization is active. More than 1,300 prisoners reportedly escaped.
  • ISIS Spokesman Abu Hamza al-Qurashi released an audiotape in which he calls, inter alia, for the overthrow of the “tyrannical” Arab rulers, against the backdrop of the normalization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The spokesman calls on ISIS operatives and supporters in Saudi Arabia to attack Western citizens and the country’s economic infrastructure (setting fire to oil pipelines, damaging factories). The spokesman praises ISIS operatives in Africa, calling on them to overthrow local regimes and harm Western interests (especially those of France).
  • On October 16, 2020, a young Chechen beheaded a history teacher in a suburb near Paris after he had shown his students cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, previously published by the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, during a discussion with his students about freedom of expression. French President Emanuel Macron, who arrived at the scene of the attack, called the murder an “Islamic terrorist attack.” This is unusual rhetoric that reflects the intensity of the shock of the French in the face of the murder, which was perceived as a violation of education and freedom of expression. At this stage, there is no evidence that ISIS or Al-Qaeda were involved in the attack, although ISIS has identified with it at the ideological level.
ISIS’s activity around the world
ISIS’s activity in the various provinces (October 8-14, 2020)
  • On October 15, 2020, ISIS’s Al-Naba’ weekly published an infographic entitled “The Harvest of the Fighters,” summarizing ISIS’s activity on October 8-14, 2020. According to the infographic, during this period ISIS carried out 30 attacks around the world, compared to 37 in the previous week (i.e., a decrease of about 19% in the number of the attacks). The largest number of attacks was carried out in Syria (13), compared to a decrease in the number of attacks in Iraq (8). Attacks were also carried out in ISIS’s other provinces: West Africa (6) and the Sinai Peninsula (3) (Al-Naba’ weekly, Telegram, October 15, 2020).
  • According to the infographic, a total of over 69 people were killed and wounded in these attacks, compared to 54 in the previous week (i.e., an increase of about 27% in the number of casualties). The largest number of casualties (32) was in West Africa. The other casualties were in Syria (18); Iraq (14); and the Sinai Peninsula (5) (Telegram, October 15, 2020).
ISIS’s financial resources
Overview
  • Laurie Mylroie, a renowned US terrorism researcher, wrote an article following up on a recent Wall Street Journal report about ISIS’s financial resources (September 18, 2020)[1]. According to Mylroie, despite its recent setbacks, including the loss of its territory, ISIS remains flush with cash. According to her, American and Western and other official security sources, such as the Kurdistan Regional Government, point out that despite its setbacks, ISIS continues to hold many financial reserves. According to these sources, ISIS has at its disposal large financial reserves and a range of revenue streams, which could finance dangerous terrorist attacks.
Types of ISIS financial sources
  • The US Department of the Treasury estimates that ISIS commands some $300 million. The United Nations estimate is less, although still a considerable sum: around $100 million. The following are examples of ISIS’s financial resources:
  • Investments in legitimate businesses: Documents captured by the Coalition after ISIS’s territorial defeat reveal that it had been investing hundreds of millions of dollars into legitimate businesses, including hotels and other real estate.
  • Profits of the Al-Rawi network: This is a network of people and businesses hailing from the Sunni Iraqi border town of Rawa, near the border with Syria. The network, also known as the Golden Chain (Selselat al-Thahab), moves money out of areas in Eastern Syria once controlled by ISIS to Dubai and through Turkey[2].
  • Exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to make profits: According to another article by Mylroie, the pandemic has become a financial resource. An ISIS supporter in Turkey named Murat Cakar was accused of making money from online sales of masks and other personal protection equipment[3]. The supporter’s profits were mainly in virtual currency.

Screenshot of one of Murat Cakar’s Facebook sales pages (Facebook, March 20, 2020)

Screenshot of one of Murat Cakar’s Facebook sales pages
(Facebook, March 20, 2020)

  • Ransom: ISIS also gains money by abducting individuals and charging tens of thousands of dollars in ransom. The amount of ransom can reach as high as $70,000.
  • Tobacco smuggling: The Army of Islam (Lashkar-e-Islam) is an important ISIS ally in Pakistan active in Khyber, Peshawar Province. The organization is heavily involved in tobacco smuggling. Profits from this occupation are estimated at several million dollars a year[4].
The Syrian arena
The Idlib region

In the Idlib region, exchanges of artillery fire continued between the Syrian army and the rebel organizations east and southwest of Idlib. In addition, Russian aircraft reportedly carried out airstrikes west of Idlib (near the Syrian-Turkish border). Two civilians were killed in these attacks and 15 were wounded (Edlib Media Center, October 14, 2020).

US targeted killing of Al-Qaeda-affiliated commanders
  • According to a spokesperson for the US CENTCOM, on October 15, 2020, an American UAV carried out an airstrike near Idlib. In this attack, two senior commanders of the Al-Qaeda branch in Syria were killed (Fox News, October 16, 2020). Syrian media outlets reported that the attack had targeted two operatives of the Guardians of Religion Organization who were riding in a vehicle near Idlib. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the two people killed were Abu Dharr al-Masri and Abu Yusuf al-Maghrebi, two commanders in the Guardians of Religion Organization (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, October 17, 2020).
  • Following are details about the two commanders who were killed in the attack:
  • Abu Dharr al-Masri: Member of the Shura Council of the Guardians of Religion Organization (Akhbar al-Aan 24 YouTube channel, October 16, 2020). Formerly in charge of Islamic law in the Guardians of Religion Organization. Before that, he was the organization’s supervisor of an institute of Islamic religious law (ma’had shar’i) for children.
  • Abu Yusuf al-Maghrebi: former commander in Al-Qaeda. Joined the Guardians of Religion Organization, where he was in charge of general security (Akhbar al-Aan 24 YouTube channel, October 16, 2020).
ISIS’s activity in the Syria Province[5]
The region of Deir ez-Zor and Al-Mayadeen
  • On October 19, 2020, an SDF intelligence operative was targeted by machine gun fire about 14 km north of Al-Mayadeen. He was killed.
  • On October 19, 2020, ISIS operatives planted an IED about 20 km north of Al-Mayadeen. The IED was activated while an SDF fighter was trying to neutralize it. The fighter was wounded.
The Aleppo region
  • On October 16, 2020, ISIS operatives planted an IED at a checkpoint of the Turkish-sponsored rebel organizations 40 km north of Aleppo (about 11 km south of the Syrian-Turkish border). Several fighters were wounded.
The Iraqi arena
Provinces of Iraq (Wikipedia)
Provinces of Iraq (Wikipedia)
Agreement to return ISIS-affiliated families to their homes west of Mosul
  • On October 14, 2020, an agreement was signed in Mosul for the voluntary return of 1,100 families of ISIS operatives to their homes in Mahalabiyah, about 35 km west of Mosul. These families left their place of residence and moved to regions formerly controlled by ISIS. The agreement was signed under the auspices of the governor of the Nineveh Province and with the support of the UN Development Program (UNDP) in Iraq. It should be noted that local residents have so far opposed the return of the families of ISIS operatives to the region (reliefweb.int, October 14, 2020).

ISIS attacks in the various provinces[6]

Diyala Province
  • On October 20, 2020, an IED was activated against a Tribal Mobilization fighter about 15 km northeast of Baqubah. He was killed.
  • On October 16, 2020, an IED was activated against a Tribal Mobilization fighter about 80 km northeast of Baqubah. He was wounded.
  • On October 16, 2020, ISIS operatives planted an IED in the house of a Tribal Mobilization fighter about 60 km north of Baqubah. The house was destroyed.
  • On October 15, 2020, ISIS operatives planted IEDs at three houses of a Tribal Mobilization commander about 60 km north of Baqubah. The three houses were destroyed.
  • On October 15, 2020, an IED was activated against Shiite civilians about 20 km northeast of Baqubah. One Shiite civilian was killed.
  • On October 15, 2020, an IED was activated against a Shiite civilian northeast of Baqubah. He was wounded.
  • On October 13, 2020, a Tribal Mobilization fighter was targeted by sniper fire about 40 km northeast of Baqubah. He was killed.
Salah al-Din Province
  • On October 16, 2020, a Popular Mobilization compound was targeted by machine gun fire about 60 km north of Baghdad. Four Popular Mobilization fighters were killed.
  • On October 14, 2020, an IED was activated against an Iraqi army vehicle about 30 km north of Baghdad. The passengers, including an officer, were killed or wounded.
Al-Anbar Province
  • On October 18, 2020, the houses of two members of the Iraqi National Security were targeted by machine gun fire about 20 km west of Baghdad. One was killed and two others were wounded.
  • October 12, 2020, an Iraqi Military Intelligence soldier was targeted by machine gun fire west of Ramadi, about 90 km west of Baghdad. He was killed.
Kirkuk Province
  • On October 18, 2020, an IED was activated against an Iraqi police foot patrol about 50 km southwest of Kirkuk. A police officer with the rank of major was killed. He had been a commander of a foj (a military framework similar to a battalion).

Counterterrorism activities by the Iraqi security forces

Al-Anbar Province
  • On October 16, 2020, teams of the Military Intelligence Directorate located an ISIS weapons depot about 30 km southeast of Fallujah. They found explosives, including IEDs that looked like flat tin boxes (Facebook page of the Iraqi Defense Ministry, October 16, 2020).
Operatives of the Iraqi Military Intelligence near the IEDs found in the weapons depot (Facebook page of the Iraqi Defense Ministry, October 16, 2020)    Operatives of the Iraqi Military Intelligence near the IEDs found in the weapons depot (Facebook page of the Iraqi Defense Ministry, October 16, 2020)
Operatives of the Iraqi Military Intelligence near the IEDs found in the weapons depot
(Facebook page of the Iraqi Defense Ministry, October 16, 2020)
Nineveh Province
  • On October 18, 2020, teams of the Nineveh Intelligence Directorate captured eight wanted ISIS operatives in various regions in the province. The detainees admitted having been involved in carrying out attacks while the Nineveh Province was under ISIS’s control (Al-Sumaria, October 18, 2020).
  • On October 17, 2020, the Iraqi Air Force carried out airstrikes about 70 km south of Mosul. Several ISIS operatives were killed and several hiding places were destroyed (SecMedCell Facebook page affiliated with the Iraqi Prime minister’s Office, October 17, 2020).
  • On October 16, 2020, an Iraqi army force captured several families of ISIS operatives infiltrating from Syria, near the Sinjar area. A total of 14 women and children were captured (Facebook page of the Iraqi Defense Ministry, October 16, 2020).
Baghdad
  • On October 17, 2020, teams of the Iraqi police captured four ISIS operatives who had been involved in carrying out attacks in the Al-Furat Province when it was under ISIS’s control (Al-Sumaria, October 17, 2020).
Kirkuk Province
  • On October 16, 2020, a special force of the Counterterrorism Unit deployed from helicopters broke into a tunnel where an ISIS commander was hiding, about 30 km south of Kirkuk. The commander, who was wearing an explosive belt, was killed (Al-Sumaria, October 17, 2020).
The Sinai Peninsula
The Bir al-Abd region
  • On October 14, 2020, an IED was activated against an Egyptian army patrol in the village of Al-Marih, west of Bir al-Abd. Mohammad Salah Riad, an Egyptian officer with the rank of lieutenant colonel (muqaddam) was killed and four soldiers were wounded (Shahed Sinaa – al-Rasmia Facebook page, October 14-15, 2020).
Lieutenant colonel Mohammad Salah Riad, who was killed by an ISIS IED (Shahed Sinaa – al-Rasmia Facebook page, October 14, 2020)
Lieutenant colonel Mohammad Salah Riad, who was killed by an ISIS IED
(Shahed Sinaa – al-Rasmia Facebook page, October 14, 2020)
Residents return to the Rabi’a region
  • On October 10, 2020, residents of the villages of Qatia, Al-Marih and al-Janain returned to their homes, which they had fled on July 21, 2020. On October 11, 2020, residents of the village of Aqtia returned to their homes. In the village of Qatia, returning residents faced scenes of devastation. The returning residents found IEDs planted by ISIS. In one of the houses, an IED was detonated in a clothes closet while the house was being cleaned. Two women were killed and a man was wounded. In the village of Al-Janain, an IED was also activated. A woman and her daughter were killed. On October 11, 2020, an IED was activated in a car in the village of Aqtia. Three women and a two-year-old were killed. The driver and a baby were wounded. On October 14, 2020, an IED was activated in the village of Al-Marih. One resident was killed and two others were wounded (almanassa.run, a political and social journalist website, October 14, 2020).
ISIS’s activity around the globe[7]

Africa

Nigeria
  • On October 19, 2020, ISIS operatives ambushed Nigerian soldiers about 20 km south of Damaturu, in Yobe State. Four soldiers were killed by machine gun fire. In addition, weapons and ammunition were seized.
  • On October 16, 2020, ISIS operatives ambushed and fired machine guns at Nigerian soldiers northwest of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State (in northeastern Nigeria). Seven soldiers were killed and others were wounded. In addition, weapons and ammunition were seized.
  • On October 16, 2020, an IED was activated against a Nigerian army vehicle southwest of Maiduguri. The passengers were killed or wounded.
  • On October 15, 2020, ISIS operatives repelled an attack by the Nigerian army in Borno State, in northeastern Nigeria. According to ISIS, three Nigerian soldiers were killed and others were wounded. In addition, weapons, ammunition and military equipment were seized.
Vehicle seized by ISIS while repelling the Nigerian army attack (Telegram, October 17, 2020)
Vehicle seized by ISIS while repelling the Nigerian army attack
(Telegram, October 17, 2020)
  • On October 15, 2020, ISIS operatives attacked a Nigerian army compound about 40 km west of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State. Several soldiers were killed or wounded.
  • On October 15, 2020, ISIS operatives attacked command posts of the forces supporting the Nigerian army in Borno State. Six fighters were killed and others were wounded
Smoke rising from the homes of fighters of the forces supporting the Nigerian army, set on fire by ISIS operatives (Telegram, October 17, 2020)
Smoke rising from the homes of fighters of the forces supporting the Nigerian army, set on fire by ISIS operatives (Telegram, October 17, 2020)
Tanzania

On October 14, 2020, ISIS operatives attacked a Tanzanian army compound in the village of Kitaya at the southeastern tip of Tanzania (near the border with Mozambique). Several soldiers were killed or wounded. In addition, weapons and ammunition were seized. One tank was set on fire. As far as is known, this is the first attack carried out by ISIS operatives on Tanzanian soil. In the ITIC’s assessment, this is a spillover of ISIS activity from Mozambique, and especially from ISIS’s stronghold in the Cabo Delgado region, in the northeast of the country. It can be estimated that the perpetrators of the attack are operatives of ISIS’s Central Africa province who crossed the border and then returned to Mozambique. It is possible that following ISIS’s establishment in northeastern Mozambique, it is beginning to expand its activity to neighboring countries as well.

The village of Kitaya in Tanzania, where ISIS attacked a Tanzanian army compound (Google Maps)
The village of Kitaya in Tanzania, where ISIS attacked a Tanzanian army compound
(Google Maps)
Democratic Republic of the Congo
ISIS activity
  • On October 14, 2020, ISIS operatives attacked a Congolese army compound in the area of the city of Beni, in the northeast of the country. Several soldiers were killed or wounded. In addition, weapons and ammunition were seized.

Prison attacked by ISIS

  • On October 20, 2020, in the early morning, armed men broke into Kangbayi Central Prison in the Beni region in the northeastern Congo (about seven kilometers west of the border with Uganda). A large group of armed men reportedly broke through the door using welding equipment and entered the prison. During the attack, 1,346 prisoners escaped and only 110 remained. According to a tweet on the Twitter account of a police official, two prisoners were shot to death during the attack (DW, October 20, 2020).
  • According to ISIS’s Amaq News Agency, on the morning of October 20, 2020, ISIS operatives attacked the prison and a Congolese army base in the Beni region. No further details were provided in the report.
Kangbayi Central Prison (John Kanyunyu@Kanyunyu Twitter account, owned by a freelance journalist from the city of Beni, Democratic Republic of Congo, October 20, 2020).  The Beni region in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where Kangbayi Central Prison is located (Google Maps).
Right: The Beni region in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where Kangbayi Central Prison is located (Google Maps). Left: Kangbayi Central Prison (John [email protected] Twitter account, owned by a freelance journalist from the city of Beni, Democratic Republic of Congo, October 20, 2020).
Afghanistan
  • On October 14, 2020, two rockets were fired at Bagram military airbase, about 40 km north of Kabul. US military personnel are stationed at the airbase.
  • On October 13, 2020, an agent of the Afghan government was targeted by gunfire in the city of Jalalabad. He was killed.
Jihadist activity around the globe
Beheading of a history teacher in a Paris suburb

On October 16, 2020, in the afternoon, an 18-year-old Moscow-born Chechen, armed with a knife, beheaded a history and geography teacher named Samuel Paty in the suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, about 25 km northwest of central Paris. The murderer reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the murder. The murderer was shot and killed by French police near the scene.

  • According to French media reports, during a discussion with his students about freedom of expression, the teacher showed them cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that had previously been published in the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo[8]. Before doing so, the teacher asked his Muslim students to leave the classroom so as not to hurt their feelings. French police have arrested a number of people, including the parents of a student at the school where the teacher taught, on suspicion of involvement in the murder (France 24 and AP, October 16 and 17, 2020).
Samuel Paty, the teacher beheaded in a jihadist attack northwest of central Paris (@Vlaamse_Zaak Twitter account, October 18, 2020)
Samuel Paty, the teacher beheaded in a jihadist attack northwest of central Paris (@Vlaamse_Zaak Twitter account, October 18, 2020)
  • The French prosecutor general announced that a network calling itself Supporters of Chechnya has claimed responsibility for beheading the teacher (Khotwa, October 17, 2020). The ITIC is not aware of such a network. The ITIC also does not currently have information that could indicate an ISIS or Al-Qaeda connection to the murder, but ISIS has identified with it ideologically[9].

A few hours after the murder, French President Emmanuel Macron arrived at the scene. He called the murder an “Islamic terrorist attack” and noted that the teacher was killed because he taught about freedom of expression. Until now, the French authorities have refrained from explicitly referring to jihadi attacks as Islamic jihadi terrorism. The President’s statement reflects the intensity of the shock of the French in the face of the attack, which was perceived as a violation of education and freedom of expression.

The battle for hearts and minds
Statement by ISIS’s spokesman

On October 18, 2020, ISIS’s Al-Furqan Media Foundation released an audiotape of the organization’s spokesman Abu Hamza Al-Qurashi. The title of the tape is a verse from the Quran – “So narrate to them stories of the past, so perhaps they will reflect[10]”. In the 32-minute tape, the spokesman calls for the overthrow of the “tyrannical” rulers in Arab and Muslim countries, against the backdrop of the normalization agreements between the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and Israel. Among other things, ISIS’s spokesman calls on the organization’s operatives and supporters to attack Western citizens in Saudi Arabia and to damage economic infrastructure, for example by setting fire to oil pipelines and factories in the country (Telegram, October 18, 2020). The spokesman praises ISIS operatives in the Sinai Peninsula for their fight against the Egyptian army and encourages operatives in various African countries to continue fighting against the “tyrants” and against the Western presence in their countries (with an emphasis on France).

Slide accompanying the audiotape (Telegram, October 18, 2020)
Slide accompanying the audiotape (Telegram, October 18, 2020)
  • Following are the main statements made by ISIS’s spokesman:
    • A call on ISIS operatives in Iraq to stand firm against attacks by the Iraqi security forces and to exercise forbearance. The spokesman praises the organization’s operatives in Syria for their commitment to fighting against the Syrian regime and for eliminating tribal leaders who support the regime, Syrian soldiers and also Russian soldiers, including a high-ranking Russian army commander (in Syria)[11].
    • A call on Muslims (i.e., ISIS supporters) in the Arabian Peninsula to join the Islamic State. If they are unable to do so, they must kill Western citizens living among them. The spokesman also calls on ISIS supporters to harm Saudi Arabia’s economic infrastructure, for example by burning oil pipelines, factories and infrastructure, which support the existence of the “tyrannical government.”
    • Praise for ISIS operatives in Sinai for standing firm against the Egyptian army despite President Sisi’s (“Pharaoh”) determination to exterminate the jihad that they are carrying out. The spokesman calls on ISIS operatives in the Sinai Peninsula to continue waging a war to the death against the Egyptian army.
    • A call on Muslims in Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Congo, Mali and Chad to act against the “tyrants” in their countries. The spokesman calls on Muslims to join ISIS and set fire to the Western factories that are exploiting their resources.
    • Praise for ISIS operatives in West and Central Africa for their activities against “France and its affiliates.” The spokesman specifically addresses ISIS operatives in Mozambique, phrases them for their victories, and calls on them to continue their activity with the goal of overthrowing the regime.
    • Call on ISIS operatives everywhere to follow in the footsteps of Khorasan Province operatives and forcibly liberate ISIS’s’ prisoners by breaking into the prisons where they are detained[12].
    • A threat that ISIS’s jihad against the “infidels” will continue until the end of time. The spokesman even threatens that ISIS operatives would come to the “center of the houses” of the infidels and surprise them. At the end of the audiotape, the spokesman says that the soldiers of the International Coalition (“the herds of Crusaders”) will soon leave Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, not by choice but because of the determination of ISIS operatives who are forcing them to leave.
Counterterrorism and preventive activity
Indian court tries 15 people on charges of conspiracy to establish an ISIS base in India
  • On October 19, 2020, a special tribunal of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), India’s anti-terrorism task force, reportedly sentenced 15 people to prison terms ranging from five to 10 years. The defendants were convicted of conspiracy to establish an ISIS base in India by recruiting teenagers on social media. The network set up by the defendants is called The Caliphate Soldiers in India and was handled by an ISIS operative in Syria, codenamed Yusuf the Indian. The network members pledged allegiance to ISIS, and its goal was to establish a caliphate in India by carrying out attacks (The Indian Guardian Online, October 19, 2020).

[1] Laurie Mylroie, ISIS retains huge financial resources: US report. Kurdistan24.net. 25 September 2020: https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/f19ae36a-7746-4906-b38d-4c16e1f06360The author is a renowned American researcher who has written extensively on Iraq and the war on terror. She holds a PhD in Political Science from Harvard. She has served as a research fellow at various research institutes, such as the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and has served as an associate professor at the Strategy and Policy Department of the US Naval War College. She has published three books and many articles in important newspapers and periodicals in the US. Some of her publications are controversial and have been criticized by prominent American terrorism researchers.

[2] The Al-Rawi Network: Established several decades ago by an Iraqi family named Al-Rawi, which hails from the town of Rawa in western Iraq. The Al-Rawi Network has its origins in the 1990s, when it helped Saddam’s regime evade the tough sanctions that followed the 1991 Gulf War. In April 2019, the US Department of the Treasury sanctioned four Turkish companies that are members of this network, which were accused of providing financial assistance to ISIS. In November 2019, the US Department of the Treasury blacklisted six of its members, because they operated illegal companies in Iraq, Turkey and Belgium. These companies helped fund ISIS’s operations in Iraq and Syria. In late July 2020, a member of the family (Adnan Muhammad Amin al-Rawi) from the network’s branch in Turkey was added to the US Treasury Department’s blacklist. See: Namo Abdulla, US Action Against IS Financier Shows Jihadists’ Cash Flow Continues from Turkey. VOAnews, 5 August 2020: https://www.voanews.com/extremism-watch/us-action-against-financier-shows-jihadists-cash-flow-continues-turkey.


[3] Following a worldwide shortage of COVID-19 face masks, Murat Cakar set up a website and four sales pages on Facebook (March 2020). He offered substandard N95 masks for sale, along with other sanitary equipment. According to the indictment filed against him in Turkey, he transferred his profits to ISIS (Newsbreak, August 14, 2020; Newsbytes, August 17, 2020).


[4] Lashkar-e-Islam is a Salafi jihadi organization founded in 2004 in Pakistan. The organization was outlawed in June 2008. In March 2015, the organization announced its merger with the Pakistani branch of the Afghan Taliban. The organization has reportedly been affiliated with ISIS’s Khorasan Province since 2017. There is also unverified information that the organization also has ties with the Afghan government, which uses it as a balancing force against the Taliban. The organization’s area of activity is Khyber, in the Peshawar District, along the border with Afghanistan (CISAC, October 20, 2020).


[5] According to ISIS’s claims of responsibility posted on Telegram


[6] According to ISIS’s claims of responsibility posted on Telegram


[7] According to ISIS’s claims of responsibility posted on Telegram


[8]
The offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo was attacked on January 7, 2015 by global jihad operatives because it claimed that the weekly had published cartoons and jokes about the Prophet Muhammad. See the ITIC’s Information Bulletin from January 13, 2015: “Jihad Operatives in France Affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS Carry Out Shooting Attacks Killing 17”.



[9] On October 19, 2020, a threatening poster was published in ISIS’s English-language magazine addressed to the organization’s supporters in India (Voice of Hind) stating: “”If your freedom of expression does not prevent you from criticizing the Prophet Muhammad, our swords will not stop defending the honor of the Prophet Muhammad, may he rest in peace.” The poster includes a sword and a photo of the decapitated head of the French teacher. This is an indication of ISIS’s ideological identification with the attack, even though ISIS did not claim responsibility for it.


[10] Surat al-A’raf, Verse 176. This means that Allah instructed the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, to tell the stories that he had told him, such as the stories of the prophets, to those who are not Muslims, so that they might be able to understand their meaning.


[11] This is a reference to an attack on a Syrian army convoy near Deir ez-Zor, on August 18, 2020. A senior Russian officer with the rank of major general was killed in the attack.


[12] On August 2, 2020, operatives of ISIS’s Khorasan Province liberated prisoners from the central prison in the Nangarhar District in the city of Jalalabad.



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

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