Spotlight on Global Jihad (January 7-13, 2021)

Last week, ISIS published several infographics, summing up the activity of its provinces in Iraq and Syria in 2020. The Iraqi Province remains the epicenter of ISIS’s activity and reorganization. The Syria Province is in second place among the various provinces in the volume of attacks (593). The West Africa Province (Nigeria and its neighbors): This province ranks third among ISIS’s provinces in the number of attacks (385) and first in terms of the number of fatalities in these attacks. The Sinai Peninsula: In the northern Sinai Peninsula, ISIS operatives continued to carry out successful guerrilla attacks against the Egyptian security forces, which repeatedly failed to provide an effective response to ISIS’s activity. Afghanistan (Khorasan Province): In Afghanistan, ISIS recovered from the blow that it had suffered at the hands of the Afghan army with US support in the Nangarhar Province (southwest of Kabul).
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The events in Lebanon for the anniversary of the killing of Qassem Soleimani were exploited by Hezbollah for a propaganda campaign within the Shi’ite community to spread a message of solidarity with Iran and its policies

At the beginning of January 2021 Hezbollah held a series of events and ceremonies within the Shi'ite community in Lebanon to mark the anniversary of the killing of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps' (IRGC) Qods Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandas, the deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization in Iraq (January 2, 2020). Most of the ceremonies were held in south Lebanon (in the Shi'ite villages near the Israeli border). Some of them were held in the Dahiyeh, Beirut's Shi'ite southern suburb, and in the Beqa'a Valley.
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Spotlight on Iran (December 27, 2020 – January 10, 2021)

Over the past week, ceremonies to commemorate Qasem Soleimani were held in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Gaza. The anniversary of the killing of Soleimani, the Commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), was used by Iran and its proxies to stress Iran’s support for the “resistance axis” and the central role Soleimani played in developing the military capabilities of Iran’s proxies in the region, particularly in enlarging and increasing the deadliness of their arsenals rockets and missiles.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (December 31, 2020 – January 6, 2021)

This year’s Christmas festivities throughout the Christian world, which were held on a limited scale due to the spread of COVID-19, passed without attacks by ISIS supporters, despite their public threats. Routine attacks continued in ISIS’s various provinces in Syria, Iraq and throughout Africa and Europe. Syria: ISIS operatives continued their intensive activity in the desert region west of the Euphrates Valley. Iraq: ISIS’s activity in northern and western Iraq focused on activating IEDs and sniper fire, and attacks on the Iraqi security forces, with no unusual incidents.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (December 24-30, 2020)

Like every year, ISIS supporters have posted posters on social media threatening to carry out attacks against Christians around the world with the approach of Christmas. In practice, no such terrorist attacks have been carried out to date by ISIS operatives or their supporters. In Borno State, in northeastern Nigeria, ISIS claimed responsibility for burning down houses and churches in Christian villages (although it is unclear whether this was done in the context of Christmas).
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The civilian infrastructure established by Hezbollah among the Shiite population: the city of Nabatieh as a case study

This document is the second in a series of studies aimed to examine the scope and conduct of Hezbollah’s civilian institutions and the extent of their influence on the local population. As a case study, the ITIC chose several main Shiite cities and the rural areas surrounding them in the three main Shiite population regions: southern Lebanon, the southern suburb of Beirut (Dahieh), and the Bekaa Valley. In each of them, the activity of Hezbollah’s civilian institutions will be examined in comparison with that of Lebanese government institutions or other Shiite organizations (the Amal Movement and other Shiite institutions which are not affiliated with Hezbollah but operate under its auspices). The city of Bint Jbeil was the first in this series of case studies . Nabatieh, a large city with a Shiite population, in southern Lebanon, was chosen to be the second case study.
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More countries have recently declared all of Hezbollah a terrorist organization but some EU countries still refrain from doing so.

On March 1, 2019, Britain designated all of Hezbollah (i.e., both its military and political infrastructures) as a terrorist organization. Thus, Britain joined Israel, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands. In the wake of Britain, a new wave of similar declarations began, with American encouragement, from European and Latin American countries.
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Spotlight on Iran (December 13, 2020 – December 27, 2020)

In recent days, senior Syrian officials declared that Damascus does not intend to demand the withdrawal of Iranian forces from the country. An adviser to President Assad stated that Syria does not demand the departure of Iran or Hezbollah from the country, and that Russia too can not ask Syria to remove Iranian forces from its territory. Syrian sources reported about an agreement reached between Iran and Russia concerning the deployment of their forces in the Albu Kamal region along the Syrian-Iraqi border. In an interview to an Afghan television station, the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif, discussed the activities of the Afghan Fatemiyoun Brigade, a militia operating under the guidance of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Syria.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (December 17-23, 2020)

Routine attacks continued in ISIS’s various provinces in Syria, Iraq and throughout Africa and Asia. Noteworthy examples . Syria: routine activity continued in the area of Deir al-Zor and Al-Mayadeen and in the desert region west of the Euphrates Valley. Prominent modus operandi of ISIS’s attacks included targeted killings and the activation of IEDs against vehicles and soldiers of the SDF and the Syrian army. Iraq: the activity in northern and western Iraq consisted primarily of activating IEDs and targeted killings. The Iraqi Counterterrorism Unit has issued a report summarizing its activity against ISIS in 2020. According to the report, in the past year, 206 ISIS operatives were killed and 292 were apprehended.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 5-11, 2020)

On March 5, 2020, an agreement was signed in Moscow between Russia and Turkey, which is intended to end the fighting in the Idlib region. In the ITIC’s assessment, this is a shaky ceasefire (like its predecessors). In the Euphrates Valley, ISIS’s intensive attacks continued, mainly in the form of activating IEDs. In Iraq, ISIS’s activity consisted mainly of activating IEDs, sniper fire and targeted killings. With regard to noteworthy ISIS activity abroad, the Khorasan Province recently resumed its activity and carried out two showcase attacks in the capital Kabul
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (March 4 – 10, 2020)

This past week the Gaza Strip was relatively quiet. A stabbing attack was attempted at the Nablus Gate in the Old City in Jerusalem. A spokesman for the Palestinian Authority (PA) government announced that so far 26 people infected with the coronavirus have been identified, most of them in Bethlehem. In Judea and Samaria Palestinians continue throwing stones at Israel vehicles driving on the roads
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (February 6-12, 2020)

This week, the Syrian army, with Russian air support, continued its attack on the Idlib region and managed to take over the city of Saraqib The Syrian army is now preparing to take over the city of Idlib. Violent friction continues between the Syrian army and Turkish forces in the area where the Syrian forces operate. The Syrian General Staff announced that the Turkish attacks would not prevent the Syrian army from continuing its military operation in the Idlib area and Aleppo. This week saw decrease in its activity in the Iraqi arena. Outside of these two “core countries,” ISIS’s Sinai Province carried out intensive activity.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (January 30 – February 5, 2020)

The Syrian army, with Russian air support, continued to advance towards Idlib. The Syrian army’s operation in an area where there are Turkish observation posts, and hundreds of thousands of refugees who fled from the battle zones (some towards the border with Turkey), have created friction on the ground and diplomatic tension between Turkey and Syria (which enjoys Russian support). On February 2, 2020, a Muslim terrorist, a released prisoner with a jihadist ideology, carried out a stabbing attack in south London
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Wave of orchestrated ISIS terrorist retaliation attacks around the globe: overview and assessment

During four days, between April 8 and 11, 2019, the various ISIS provinces in Syria, Iraq and around the globe carried out a wave attacks in retaliation for the blow ISIS suffered in Syria. ISIS reported that eight of its provinces carried out more than 92 attacks in more than 80 areas. The attacks were accompanied by a media campaign and claims of responsibility entitled "Battle of vengeance for blessed [Province of] Sham" [Syria].
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (19-27 September 2017)

The Islamic State is disintegrating in Syria and Iraq. Its territorial areas of control Iraq are falling to the two anti-ISIS coalition forces one after another, although in some important strongholds ISIS operatives continue stubborn fighting.
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Analysis of the new statement of ISIS spokesman following the normalization agreements between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain

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 ”. In the 32-minute tape, the spokesman calls for the overthrow of the “tyrannical” rulers in Arab countries, following the normalization agreements between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain.
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Germany outlaws Hezbollah, joining other countries which designated it as a terrorist organization

On April 30, 2020, Germany banned Hezbollah from operating on German soil and designated it as a terrorist organization. Immediately after doing so, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer instructed the security forces to conduct searches in mosques, in gathering places of Hezbollah followers and in a number of suspects’ homes in several cities (including Berlin, Bremen, Münster and Dortmund).
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Iranian Subversion in Bahrain: The United States designates the Saraya al-Mukhtar as a Bahraini terrorist organization handled by Iran

On December 15, 2020, the American State Department announced it was designating the Bahraini terrorist organization Saraya al-Mukhtar as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist organization. According to the announcement, the organization receives "financial and logistic support" from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. The organization's "self-described goal is to depose the Bahraini government with the intention of paving the way for Iran to exert greater influence in Bahrain" (State Department website, December 15, 2020).
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Shooting attack carried out by an ISIS supporter in Vienna (initial overview)

On the evening of November 2, 2020, a shooting attack was carried out against passersby in the Vienna city center by a young ISIS supporter. Four people were killed and over 20 were wounded. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. In the ITIC's assessment, this was not an ISIS, preplanned and orchestrated attack, but a local initiative. However, the perpetrator may have had accomplices in Austria or even outside the country.
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