ISIS Terror Continues – Global Intelligence Insight weekly update to 10 July 2016
ISIS successfully continues to widen its range of terror attacks in the Middle East.
The deadliest (292 dead) was in a shopping center in the Shiite neighborhood of Karrada, central Baghdad – one of the busiest and most crowded places of the city – with a VBIED, a truck loaded with explosives.
The attack was executed in the peak of the shopping frenzy in preparation for Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, identifying the attacker as “Abu Maha, the Iraqi”.
In addition, another IED exploded in Al-Shaab, a Shiite neighborhood in northern Baghdad, killing 37.
Also, in Saudi Arabia there were 3 suicide bombings: near the US Consulate in Jeddah, in a Shiite mosque in the Qatif Governorate, and near the Grand Mosque in the city of Medina.
Even though they did not claim responsibility for the attacks, Saudi security sources confirmed that ISIS was the perpetrator. The suicide bomber near the prophet’s mosque in Medina was identified as Naer Hammad AlNajadi, a Saudi National (pictured below).
One of the most intriguing aspects following the recent attacks in Turkey and Saudi Arabia is the absence of claim of responsibility. But the intelligence we have gathered leads us to conclude it was indeed ISIS the perpetrator.
This reluctance may be connected with 3 factors:
#1 – not wanting to endanger their operatives and collaborators in both of these countries;
#2 – not wanting to give Turkey a pretext for severe acts of revenge – Turkey is still their main logistical center;
#3 – not wanting negative PR: attacking muslims during the month of Ramadan seriously affected the organization’s reputation, in a time where they are trying to bolster their ranks with new recruits.
Heavy fighting will continue in Manbij, Syria, with constant territorial gains and losses on both sides. ISIS’s defense lines are extremely well entrenched here.
In Iraq, the effort to establish a base-point to launch the offensive to retake Mosul continues.
On Jul.08 the Iraqi military received a new batch of Mi-28NE “Night Hunters” from Russia. We can foresee that the planning of a full assault is well under way.
Still, the recent bombings in Karrada and Al-Shaab pass the clear message that despite the fall of Fallujah, ISIS’s planning and operational capabilities are still intact.
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This report has been provided by Global Intelligence Insight who work with Security Media Publishing and securityaffairs.co