Key Takeaways in the Middle East:
- Terror attacks in the Middle East have doubled up to 81 compared to the last month.
- In Syria, YPG was active in the northern and northeastern Syria alongside the Syrian Turkish border whereas DAESH was active in sporadic fashion in eastern, northwestern, and southern Syria. YPG carried out a total of eleven attacks where civilians remained the most targeted type and one time it attacked military units as well. VBIED and IED attacks were the most widely used by YPG. Whereas DAESH utilized a great variety of attack types, however, armed reactions and IED attacks were the most widely used ones. It also relied on gang attacks, mortar attacks in diminutive numbers. In all its 33 attacks DAESH majorly targeted operational military units then civilians whereas the tertiary target was militia/non-state armed group.
- Geographically the attacks in Iraq were concentrated along the north of Baghdad mostly in the rural settings. PKK has carried out a total of two attacks alongside the Iraq-Turkey border targeting operational military units and operational military facilities. Armed reactions and harassing fires were the attack types utilized by PKK in Iraq. In comparison, DAESH carried out thirty-five attacks in northern Iraq. It has widely targeted operational military units, operational police units whereas civilians were least beleaguered in this month. A variety of attack types were utilized but the most widely used ones were armed reactions and assassinations.
- Resultantly, both countries suffering from ethnic separatist and Islamic fundamentalist terrorism at the same time have undergone an upsurge in terror attacks compared to the previous month. With an increasing number of total attacks from 42 to 81, the resultant casualties have also multiplied to 79 deaths, 63 wounded and 4 kidnapped.
The overall rise in terror activities in the Middle East further complicates the convoluted security dynamics just before the parliamentary elections in October 2021 in Syria.
Key Takeaways in Asia:
- In India, Naxal Maoist Rebels have carried out a total of two attacks. The attacks have taken place in the rural setting of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh State. These states are the active zones of Naxal-Maoist rebels. IED attack and armed reaction were utilized as a mode of engagement while targeting operational military units and civilians/social sphere.
- In contrast to the August BLA showed its presence with two attacks in the Jhal Jao and Zamuran which are the least developed tribal areas in the southern and northeast part of Balochistan Province in Pakistan. BLA utilized armed reaction and harassing fires against operational military units in these two areas. Comparing it to last month's activity, TTP slowed down its operational strategy from eleven to only a total of three attacks in September along the northern Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. As a method of engagement, TTP relied primarily on IED attacks and armed reactions against operational military units and civilians.
- In the Philippines, New People’s army continued its Maoist guerrilla attacks against tactical/operational military units. The armed reaction was the most preferred type of engagement, however, assassination against the operational police unit was also utilized. Comparatively, it has slowed down from eleven attacks to a total of five attacks this month.
- Speeding up the past trail of attacks from four to eleven Indonesia’s West Papua National Liberation Army targeted only operational military units. Out of eleven ten attacks were conducted in rural regions and one in the urban regions against the military units. West Papua National Liberation Army heavily relied on armed reactions as a mode of engagement, however, kidnapping officials and a military person were also utilized twice.
Overall, Asia has shown a down surge in the number of attacks from 33 to 23 with the massive difference in the number of deaths from 127 to 10, wounded 262 to 10 whereas in August and September number of kidnapping remains one.
Key Takeaways in the South America:
- FARC conducted two IED attacks on the operational military units in Saravena and Arauca with one raid targeting the civilians in the same area of Saravena near the Venezuela border which inhabits 47,000 people. This Venezuela bordering area has a heavy Colombian military presence in addition to FARC and ELN.
- In comparison to the previous month, all the three attacks are carried out by FARC whereas ELN hasn’t been seen carrying out any activity.
- Due to the sporadic nature of attacks and flaccid tactics being involved the three attacks resulted in the loss of one human life.
Key Takeaways in Africa:
- Africa maintained its top rank as the most terror-hit region with the highest number of casualties. Geographical distribution of all the attacks indicates that terrorist incidents in Africa are mainly distributed in three regions: The West Sahel Region, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Horn of Africa.
- 96.55% of the total attacks took place in rural settings whereas all the remaining urban attacks happened only in Somalia. Furthermore, this region compared to all other regions suffered massively from Kidnapping which accounts for 31.03 % of all the attack types utilized as a mode of engagement in this month.
- In the horn of Africa Al-Shabab has singlehandedly carried out 62 attacks in Somalia where 95.16% of rural settings were under target and the rest 3.84 percent were the urban areas. A significant amount of their attacks targeted security forces whereas civilians and operational military facilities were also targeted at few instances. Its frequently preferred ways of engagement were armed reactions and IED attacks, however, in comparison to the previous month, an increase is seen in assassinations. In contrast to August, Al- Shabab has also utilized SVEST and SVBIED attacks.
- In the Sinai Peninsula, a total of 6 attacks were solely conducted by DAESH in rural settings. The majority of attacks were conducted by IED explosives and assassinations whereas raids and harassing fires were also utilized at subsequent scales. Compared to the previous month the sole target was operational military units and facility whereas civilians remained completely out of the targeting focus of DAESH this month.
- In the West Sahel Region, the attacks were mainly perpetrated in rural settings of Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria, and Mali. 47.36 % of total attacks targeted civilians/social sphere whereas 42.10 % of remaining attacks targeted operational military units. Compared to the previous month 10.52 percent of total attacks also targeted religious centers/ figures/officials. Kidnappings, armed reactions, and raids were the top three common attack types in the region, however, the most distinguishing issue about the West Sahel Region is its kidnapping rates. Roughly, 31.57 % of all the attacks were kidnapping. Boko Haram and Nusrat-al- Islam (JNIM) resorted to kidnappings and raids as the widely used tactics whereas Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) relied on assassinations, harassing fires, and armed reaction as the preferred mode of engagement.
- Compared to the previous month Dan Na Ambassagou wasn’t active this month and IED attacks were not commonly used as the preferred mode of engagement in this West Sahel Region.
Convincingly, the positive takeaway from Africa about this month compared to the developments of the previous month is the decreased number of total attacks from 96 to 87, lessening the total deaths from 111 to 87 and kidnapped persons from 47 to 27.
Map: Attacks between June-August 2021, red circular areas display rural areas, blue circular areas display urban areas.