Iraq

Spotlight on Global Jihad (May 5-11, 2022)

This week, there was a downtrend in ISIS activity around the globe in light of the end of its campaign of vengeance, which began on April 17, 2022, and ended on May 2, 2022. Syria: ISIS continued its attacks against the SDF (Kurdish) forces and the Syrian army. Iraq: There was a drop in the number of attacks in the wake of the end of the campaign of vengeance. Afghanistan: Operatives of ISIS's Khorasan Province fired rockets at a Tajikistan army headquarters near the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border. Africa: ISIS has announced a new province, the Mozambique Province. Speaking in a video marking the 11th anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death, Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri said that since the events of September 11, 2001, the United States has been in a decline and its weakness has made Ukraine easy prey for Russia. A new Al-Qaeda magazine has been issued in Sudan, encouraging readers to join its ranks.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (April 27 – May 4, 2022)

This week, ISIS continued its intensive activity around the globe as part of its campaign of vengeance that began on April 17, 2022. Syria: ISIS continued its attacks against the Kurdish forces (SDF), the Syrian army, and the forces supporting it. Iraq: There was an increase in the number of attacks, most of which took the form of IED detonation and shooting. The Sinai Peninsula: Clashes continued between ISIS and Egyptian security forces. Israel: An indictment was filed against two brothers from the village of Muawiyah (in Wadi Ara) who pledged allegiance to ISIS and planned to join it. Afghanistan: ISIS claimed responsibility for three attacks.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (April 14-27, 2022)

Over the past two weeks, there has been a significant increase in the scope of ISIS’s activity in its various provinces around the globe. Syria: Despite the announcement of the campaign, activity continued at a relatively low level and was directed mainly against the Syrian army, the forces supporting it, and the Kurdish SDF. Iraq: There was a significant increase in the scope of ISIS's activity in Iraq, although most of the attacks were relatively minor. The Sinai Peninsula: There was an increase in ISIS's activity. At the same time, the Egyptian army and the local militias supporting it continued their counterterrorism activity. Counterterrorism in Israel: A Palestinian resident of Hebron, an ISIS supporter, was detained following the solving of a murder he committed three years ago of a couple in Jerusalem and another murder he committed about a month ago. In addition, the Israeli security forces detained several Arab-Israeli residents who are affiliated with ISIS.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (April 7-13, 2022)

Syria: This past week there was relatively little activity. ISIS operatives focused on the desert region, where they attacked positions of the militias supporting the Syrian regime. Iraq: ISIS operatives abducted a number of civilians and conducted economic terrorist activity. The Sinai Peninsula: Several civilians were abducted, and it can be assumed their abductors were ISIS operatives. Africa: ISIS's West Africa Province continued activities at a relatively high level of intensity. Afghanistan: ISIS operatives continued activities against Taliban forces, but at relatively low intensity.  India: ISIS joined the protest against the government's law banning the hijab in government educational institutions. The battle for hearts and minds: The lead article in al-Nabā’, ISIS's weekly magazine, was devoted to criticism of the Muslim Brotherhood movement's positive position regarding the nascent Israeli-Turkish bilateral relations, and of Israeli President Isaac Herzog's visit to Turkey.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 31 – April 6, 2022)

In Syria and Iraq, ISIS’s relatively low-intensity activity continued this week. The Sinai Peninsula: Egypt announced that it had extended for another six months the presidential decree indicating a special security situation in the Sinai Peninsula. Africa: In Nigeria, this week ISIS’s attacks were concentrated in the Malam Fatori region in northeastern Nigeria, near the border with Niger. ISIS’s media outlets continue to release videos documenting operatives pledging allegiance to the new leader in ISIS’s various provinces. Following two ISIS-inspired attacks in Israel (in Beersheba and Hadera), sources in the Israeli defense establishment estimate that there are currently around 200 Arab citizens of Israel who are affiliated with ISIS’s ideology. The battle for hearts and minds: ISIS’s Al-Naba’ weekly devoted a central place in this week's issue to the attack in Hadera.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 24-30, 2022)

The main event of the week was a shooting attack in Hadera, carried out by two ISIS-affiliated Arab residents of Israel. Two Border Police fighters were killed in the attack. ISIS posted an official claim of responsibility for the attack on its Telegram channel. Amaq News Agency, ISIS’s media arm, also issued an official statement. The claim of responsibility also mentioned the attack in Beersheba carried out several days earlier. The battle for hearts and minds: ISIS-affiliated elements are attempting to leverage the terrorist attacks in Hadera and Beersheba in order to encourage ISIS supporters to carry out additional attacks in Israel. In Syria and Iraq, the relatively low-intensity activity continued this week.
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Iraq

The Republic of Iraq (الجمهورية العراقية – Al-Jumhūrīyya Al-‘Irāqīyya) borders with Turkey in the north, Syria and Jordan in the west, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in the south, and Iran in the east. Iraq has a population of over 31 million, the vast majority of whom are Arabs (97% Muslim, 65% Shiite and 35% Sunni). In northeastern Iraq there is an autonomous Kurdish entity known as Iraqi Kurdistan. There are no relations between the State of Israel and Iraq, and Iraq refuses to recognize Israel.

After the Iraq war, the country was run by a coalition of countries that had invaded Iraq, headed by the United States. In 2005, civilian control was transferred to the interim Iraqi government that was appointed after a general election for a temporary parliament, which was held for the first time in the history of Iraq. In 2006, a permanent Shiite government was formed, and thus a change of government took place in Iraq, which had been in the hands of the Sunnis up to that time. In December 2011, the last American soldiers stationed in Iraq left the country.

After the fall of Saddam Hussein, a branch of Al-Qaeda was established in Iraq, headed by Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi. This branch later evolved into ISIS. This branch, which enjoyed widespread support among the Sunni population in Iraq, carried out terrorist attacks directed against Shiite civilians and against the Iraqi regime. In 2014, in the city of Mosul, ISIS declared the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate and took control of vast areas in western and northwestern Iraq, with the intention of taking control of the Iraqi capital Baghdad as well. In the years that followed, through efforts by the Iraqi security forces and local militias supported by the United States, these areas were liberated and ISIS slowly began to lose its power.