Iraq saw gains with its counterterrorism strategy in January: NCS report


February 25, 2021


Many countries in the region are intensifying their counterterrorism efforts, the report noted

security forces stand guard at the site of a deadly bomb attack in a market selling used clothes, in Baghdad, Iraq, January 21, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS


By Dina Ezzat | Ahram Online


A recent report by Egypt’s National Centre for Studies on the state of terrorism in the larger Middle East during the month of January reported a high rate of terror attacks in Syria.

“Syria saw 28 terror attacks during the month of January,” the report noted.

The first monthly ‘State of Terror Report,’ which was published by the NCS earlier this month, noted that both Afghanistan and Somalia came in second in the number of attacks, with each suffering 24 attacks during the past month.

The security situation in both countries, the report noted, is unstable given the continued lack of political stability – with Somalia possibly set to face a new rough phase – and given the withdrawal of US troops from both countries.

However, the report noted that continued intelligence cooperation between the US and both Somalia and Afghanistan would still be consequential in the battle against the Al-Shabab in Somalia and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The report counted a total of 110 terror attacks in the larger Middle East, 88 of which were in countries with political instability.

However, the report noted that despite the security deficiency from which they suffer, neither South Sudan and nor Libya recorded terror attacks during the month of January.

Algeria, however, came back with a single terror attack that was followed by security operation that led to the killing of all suspected terrorists.

Many countries in the region are intensifying their counterterrorism efforts, the report noted. Egypt, for one, is still hard at work to quell terror cells in Sinai.

The biggest success story of January, the report noted, came in Iraq with the elimination of Gabbar AlIssawi, the leading Islamic State (IS) figure who was killed by Iraqi law enforcement on 28 January, one week after Baghdad was hit with deadly twin suicide attacks.

Suicide attacks, kidnappings and murders were all reported during the month of January in the NSC report, which was titled ‘The fall of Gabbar’. The report added that in several cases, terror groups used drones to carry out their terror attacks.

Meanwhile, the report noted that leading terror groups in the region, especially IS and Al-Qaeda, are moving to consolidate ranks with an aggressive online media campaign.

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