Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #ISWAP

Most recents (24)

Some very interesting info from @SimNasr here on Shekau's 2015 allegiance to the Islamic State... #BokoHaram #JASDJ #ISWAP According a cleric who facilitated the conversation, Abou Malek, the IS had reservations and set its conditions. A thread.
This included an end to end of hostage taking of children of other communities (presumably Christians?), Shekau's replacement in PR by a spokesperson, and the centralisation of media.
I find it telling that this had a lot to do with image-control - the IS wanting to preserve its brand... and clearly not keen on Shekau's demotic style of propaganda.
Read 9 tweets
As #ISWAP and #JASDJ #BokoHaram fight it out, I am going through an old-ish audio by Habib Yusuf aka Abu Musab al Barnawi about the difficult reunification of jihad in Borno following the death of Shekau. New to me, but dating from early 2022 or before. A thread…
Habib explains and comments in Kanuri an audio sent by the Islamic State – in this instance Abu Hamzat al Qurayshi al Muhajir, who was the IS spokesperson until his death in February 2022. The audio mentions Abu Ibrahim Al Hashimi as IS Caliph, who was also killed in Feb 2022.
So the audio dates somewhere between Shekau’s death in May 2021 and February 2022.
Read 12 tweets
[THREAD] 1/ In 2022, the Islamic State claimed 2,028 attacks in 24 countries. It carried out large-scale operations in Syria, Nigeria and Afghanistan. Sharp decline in #IS operations in Iraq. Africa was the continent most afflicted, with a sharp increase in attacks at Christians.
2/ Detail about the methodology: I have analysed all the information provided by the Islamic State in the 52 issues of its weekly magazine al-Naba’ (cf. the front page of the issue 369). For every single IS claimed attack, I have analysed the target(s)/weapon(s) used/geolocation.
3/To start with, interestingly, the number of Islamic State’s attacks has dropped consistently since the fall of Baghûz (March 2019), last #IS stronghold in Syria. This is particularly striking in the case of #Syria and #Iraq, where the group is a mere shadow of what it once was.
Read 10 tweets
Is there a threat that Abuja is facing?
Has there ever been any threat?
Is the recent threat different from past ones?
How is it different?
Today's ISWAP has an expansionist agenda, not limited to their fixation on territorial control in the #LakeChad basin
Today's ISWAP had far more sophistication than #BokoHaram did pre-2015 when Abuja came under attack.
#ISWAP has global networks; the goal is no longer limited to local targets but also international interests. That's why the diplomatic community in Abuja is on overdrive
However, the alertness and preparedness of security agencies within Abuja today are greater than in the pre-2015 era. But don't get me wrong, we will all be fooling ourselves if we think Abuja will be spared from the insecurity spreading like wildfire across the country.
Read 6 tweets
1. Time for a status update on #IS.

We’ve been collecting and analysing #IS comms and chatter continuously for the last few years.

This is what the short- (50-day) and long-term (200-day) rolling averages look like for #IS attacks as of 10 October 2022.
2. In #Syria, after a three-fold decline across 2020/21, #IS’s reported activities have been hovering at roughly the same level since last summer.

Note that there was a fleeting surge after the #Ghwayran prison-break, but nothing sustained.

See tweet #12 for caveat.
3. In #Iraq, #IS’s network is seemingly in a similar place.

These days, less than half as many attacks are being reported on average compared with this time in 2020 and 2021.

See tweet #12 for caveat.
Read 13 tweets
Some notes about #ISWAP, #JASDJ #BokoHaram. Mamman Nur & Habib Yusuf broke away from Abubakar Shekau in 2016 with a strong reform agenda. I think it can be summed up as a rationalisation / bureaucratisation of jihad. Just one example of this: penal reform. A thread...
Shekau was famous for the spectacular violence he visited upon people he deemed criminals (adulterers, thieves, drugs dealers and users). Executions, chopping hands and feet, brutal flogging… He and his men made shows of this, for the education of the masses.
There, we are squarely in the realm of the spectacle of extreme violence: brutal, but intermittent. The ruthless affirmation of sovereignty and quest for purity.
Read 17 tweets
Hearing of a spectular hike in #Iswap's taxation of fish on parts of Lake Chad. Used to be 3,000 nairas for a carton with a market value of 90,000. Now 30,000.
And the market war goes on. Recent military ops against a fish market near the Lake. Goods destroyed. Some civilians killed. But of course, the business has resumed. Civilians cant do without.
The taxation of cattle stays the same - 1/30 of the herd every year. Since that rate is an Islamic prescription, perhaps it's difficult to change for a moment that claims to adhere to Islamic principles...
Read 4 tweets
KANO BOMB-BLAST: Reports indicates that following intelligence operations, DSS have arrested 2 #BH Terrorists over the Kano bomb blast incident. Items recovered include 4 AK-47 riffles, 2 Pistols, Suicide Vests & several IED making materials. This latest development supports….
..Supports eye witness accounts that the explosion was a suicide bomb attack. This is also coming just few hours after @elrufai @GovKaduna announced that #BH #ISWAP has taken over 2 LGAs in Kaduna State. This successful Ops by DSS might have just saved Kano from a major doomsday.
ADVISORY: Increased BH/ISWAP/Ansarul activities in NW in recent times suggest shift of focus of the group to the region. Public infrastructures like Airport, Rail lines, Roads & Schools have been targeted. Active situational awareness is expedient. Report all unusual activities
Read 3 tweets
Seeing new #JASDJ #BokoHaram videos doing the rounds… Different groups of fighters in different settings, talking in different languages (Arabic, Buduma, Kanuri, Kanembu and Arabic). Clearly, we are near the Lake. A thread. Image
In these videos (complete with antics à la Shekau), they affirm their loyalty to their imam, Abu Umaymah (mentioned in a prior video as replacement for Sahalaba, recently executed by JASDJ). It's not a pledge, though. It's about rejecting unambiguously any agreement with #ISWAP. Image
JASDJ does not name ISWAP. They call them apostates and “murjiah”, a term that refers to an old interpretation of Islam according to which one has to delay (irja) passing judgment on people, God being the only judge. In modern Salafi-jihadi parlance, this means “softies”.
Read 8 tweets
1. #IS deployed 342 attacks globally during Ramadan, 219 of them since 17 April as part of its global revenge campaign.

This is ten attacks more than it reported during Ramadan last year.

Here’s what that surge looks like when charted out.
2. Most attacks (by far) were reported from #Iraq, followed by #Nigeria, #Syria and #Afghanistan.

These four states accounted for three quarters of all #IS’s attacks in Ramadan.
3. Besides the sole attack reported from #Uzbekistan at the beginning of the month, no major new fronts were opened anywhere outside of #Nigeria.
Read 8 tweets
Looking at the data further closely, 73% of ISIS global attacks have been in Africa, with Nigeria, where #ISWAP operates, accounting for 61% of attacks on the continent. On the global stage, attacks in Nigeria account for 45% of all ISIS attacks.
Of the 15 countries where ISIS has claimed attacks this year, 9 are in Africa.

All this, however, does not necessarily mean there is a corresponding increase in the number of deaths.
This is especially so in Nigeria, where there’s been a significant decrease in attacks against civilians since #ISWAP dislodged #JAS from its Sambisa stronghold, while the military has also been successful in repelling several ISWAP attacks.
Read 3 tweets
#ISIS media campaign showing fighters pledging allegiance to new leader Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi is growing

Per @siteintelgroup new photo sets show fighters from:

#Iraq (inclu. #Baghdad, #Saluhaddin)

Cont. - #ISIS media campaign posting new photos showing fighters pledges to Abu al-Hassan

#Sahel (#BurkinaFaso #Mali #Niger)

Earlier photo releases showed fighters giving bay'ah from:

#EastAsia (#Philippines, #Indonesia)
#Iraq (#Kirkuk, #Anbar)
Per @JihadoScope, #ISIS has issued 18 photo sets to date showing fighters pledging allegiance to Abu al-Hassan:

#Iraq (4)
#Nigeria (3)
#Indonesia or #Philippines (for East Asia)
#Sahel - #Cameroon / #BurkinaFaso / #Mali / #Niger
Read 4 tweets
IS's "West Africa Province" (#ISWAP) has released rare images claiming to show its Hisbah (religious) police destroying batches of drugs in an undisclosed location in "West Africa", likely in north-eastern Nigeria /1
The images show 3 men wearing uniform brown vests with the words "Islamic State" and "Hisbah" on them. The men pile a number of black bags which presumably contain the drugs and then set them on fire /2
IS doesn't indicate where in West Africa the action took place but it's likely to be in north-eastern Nigeria, where IS appears to have limited territorial control, especially after seizing the stronghold of its rival Boko Haram last summer /3
Read 6 tweets
Hearing of a recent case of "collateral damages" near Baga, in northern Borno. Herders were reportedly bombed by the Nigerian Air Force, killing several of them as well as many heads of cattle.
Was it a deliberate move, given the fact that the herders in all likelihood pay a tax to #ISWAP in order to be able to access grazing land there (the Nigerian military has been hitting at ISWAP's war economy of late)? Or was it a mistake?
Whatever the truth is, it heralds what we are going to get more and more of: as people redeploy (and are redeployed) in the vicinity of the Lake, they will want to access its agricultural resources, and will have little choice but to pay ISWAP.
Read 4 tweets
Learning something about Mohamed Yusuf, founder of the movement often known as #BokoHaram, known for his opposition to aspects of Western education ("Boko") which he deemed incompatible with Islam...
Yusuf was not always hostile to "Boko". His own children, including Habib Yusuf, who became the wali of #ISWAP in 2016, used to attend Al Kanemi College in Maiduguri, a private institution of repute, using English as teaching language (but also teaching Arabic).
But after Yusuf developed his criticism of "Boko", he removed his kids from Al Kanemi and sent them to a Quranic school in Maiduguri.
Read 6 tweets
#Nigeria 🇳🇬: #AQ-allied #Ansaru released an #EidAlFitr video on November (it was probably scheduled to be released in 2022).

An interesting AK-103 (AK-103-2 from #Libya or AK-103 from #Mali), Zastava M05E1 & E3 rifles and a stockless Zastava M70B1 rifle can be seen.

1/ ImageImage
Zastava M05E1 rifles are usually smuggled/sourced from #Cameroon. It can be seen in the hands of various groups such as Boko Haram/#JaS and #ISWAP.

2/ ImageImage
On the other hand, it is possible to see the Zastava M05E3 rifles in various countries in region such as #BurkinaFaso —third photo shows an M05E3 rifle captured by #ISWAP/#ISGS from Police Forces in NE of Burkina Faso on Feb 29, 2020.

3/ ImageImageImage
Read 7 tweets
A thread on recent events in Sambisa. There are some reasons to think #ISWAP has largely prevailed for now in the struggle that broke out in August with malcontent #JASDJ groups who refused to rally. #BokoHaram
A 15-minute ISWAP video has been circulating for a few days, which discusses the issue of the JASDJ dissenters. The video comprises of four segments.
First, there is a short extract by Abu Hamza al-Qurayshi, the official spokesperson of the Islamic State, taken from a speech he made after Shekau’s death. The extract chosen welcomes the victory of ISWAP over the “khawarij”, the “extremists”.
Read 14 tweets
#Sahel: After a two-month hiatus justified by "security and technical" reasons, #ISWAP (Greater Sahara) resurfaced in Islamic State's Al-Naba following the death of its founder and emir Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi. The group claimed 7 operations, killing 65 of its enemies.
#Sahel: #ISWAP-GS reportedly lost forty men in these operations, all in the 11 July attack in Tchomabangou, for which it had not claimed responsibility until now.
#Sahel: It also claimed to have killed 17 #JNIM fighters in the Korfooueyouey area on 18 August. Local sources said that the fighting took place on 22 August between Intaylalene and Kacham, with the reported deaths in JNIM ranks in line with the claim.
Read 7 tweets
About the reports on #BokoHaram associates defecting in Cameroon & Nigeria... a thread... First, it is a welcome development, and it is clear that it has a lot to do with the Lake Chad states setting up and advertising defection/reintegration programmes.
Jihadis would not come out if it were not for those programmes, which make clear to them that there is a safe way out. It seems previous defectors play a big role in facilitating additional exits, too - informing potential defectors & contacting the authorities on their behalf.
So much for critics of these programmes... Yes, these pgs come with flaws, but if they can get some people to stop fighting, they are useful.
Read 8 tweets
I must say that this one time, my sense is different from yours, @bulamabukarti. In the #ISWAP video, there is at least Tahiru Baga, the English-speaking old man, a Yusufiyya pioneer and hisbah leader.
Also, I can't help noticing that reported attacks on civilians by #JASDJ have dropped drastically in Cameroon - one plausible interpretation is JASDJ is falling in line with ISWAP policy. Bakura is the exception here (and there are still attacks against civilians in Chad).
Plus ISWAP has already claimed four attacks in areas that used to be JASDJ areas. And they attacked Damboa from both sides, from Alagarno and from Sambisa.
Read 8 tweets
1. Last night, #IS published a new statement from its spokesman Abu Hamza al-Qurashi in which, among other things, he lauded the recent exploits of #ISWAP#IS’s West Africa Province—in #Nigeria, alluding to Abubakar #Shekau's group, #JAS, as "khawarij."
2. #Qurashi said #IS was “pleased to hear the news of the bay’a” of former #Shekau followers.

This wasn't rhetoric. In the last two weeks, #ISWAP has been claiming attacks in parts of Borno in which it was previously inactive, places in which #JAS had previously been dominant.
3. After its victory over #JAS in May, many #JAS fighters joined #ISWAP, which consolidated these gains and began launching attacks in former #JAS areas quicker than many had anticipated it would.

The first such attack took place on 13 June southeast of #Maiduguri, near #Bama.
Read 7 tweets
1. Habib Yusuf (aka Abu Musab al Barnawi), the new ad interim boss of #ISWAP responds in a 50-minute audio in Hausa to “the one who calls himself Imam al Shekawi”. A thread…
2. Most of it is a response to Shekau’s criticism of ISWAP's doctrine in the audio testament in Kanuri & Hausa that he put out on 18 May, shortly before blowing himself up (discussed in a previous thread). There are also interesting bits about Shekau’s pledge to the IS in 2015.
3. Why Habib does that while Shekau is dead is clear at the end of the audio: he addresses Shekau’s followers. He mentions Sambisa and Lake Chad… but also, interestingly Zamfara and Niger… does that mean they consider that there are indeed Shekau affiliates there?).
Read 27 tweets
1. Not convinced by this Soufan Center piece on the death of Shekau and the future of #BokoHaram #ISWAP. It includes some good (though by now not original) analysis but also some claims that are disputable to very disputable… A thread.
2. The piece claims that it was al-Baghdadi who “personally ordered Shekau’s ejection from ISWAP”. I wonder about the evidence for this. There has never been a statement from the IS about Shekau’s demise – in August 2016, they only announced Abu Musab as the new wali.
3. The piece mentions Shekau had “Cameroon-based fighters”. As far as I know, JASDJ’s fighters are in the hills on the Nigerian side of the border, not in Cameroon – though of course they do raid into Cameroon.
Read 9 tweets
1. Another #BokoHaram thread, this time about #ISWAP’s Abu Musab al-Barnawi audio about the death of #Shekau (Abu Musab is chatty these days). He says that Shekau was attacked in his markaz and fled, and escaped capture for several days.
2. ISWAP fighters tried to convince Shekau to surrender, but he blew himself up.
3. Abu Musab reiterates his earlier statement that they told Shekau “we didn't come to kill you, come and repent and obey the orders of Amirul mumineen. In his wisdom, he may reappoint you as a leader and we are ready to accept his position”.
Read 10 tweets

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