Global terrorism this week (GTTW): July 25-31, 2022

What happened in the world of terrorism around the globe: week of July 25-31, 2022

Welcome to a new Borealis weekly feature: global terrorism this week (GTTW). In this series we will look at all activity related to terrorism anywhere on Earth over a 7-day period. One special theme will be presented per week, as well as links to all acts of terrorism worldwide.

The data in these reports are all derived from open sources. We do not claim that these lists are exhaustive in nature, but we do have high levels of confidence that the attacks discussed did occur. We are also keen to distinguish ‘true’ terrorism from other forms of violence that sometimes are described as such but which we feel do not meet the criteria to be labeled as terrorism (e.g. hate crimes, serious acts of violence with no obvious ties to ideological rationales, run-of-the-mill criminals, etc.). Some will disagree with these choices: you are free and encouraged to share your thoughts on these issues.

The data used to compile these weekly summaries are derived from dozens of hours of scanning online sources. Where possible, all attacks are corroborated from more than one source: all entries have hyperlinks to one of the sources.

This weekly summary is a small attempt to highlight what happened around the world in any given seven-day period. In other words, it is a litany of facts, not theories.

We’d love to hear what you think of this series. Leave us a message on Twitter (@borealissaves), LinkedIn, email ([email protected]), FaceBook, or here on the Website. Thanks!

Week of July 25-31, 2022

Weekly highlight: Somalia

A number of attacks this week were carried out by Al Shabaab (AS), an Al Qaeda (AQ)-affiliated Islamist terrorist group which has been active in Somalia and the immediate vicinity since the mid-2000s. What was of particular interest this week was the attack on Ethiopia (which may have occurred as far as 150km inside Ethiopia). It is worth remembering that it was a decision by the Ethiopian government in 2006 to invade Somalia, at the behest (in part) of the US, to deal with the Islamic Courts Union, a Salafi group which morphed into AS, that in essence gave rise to one of the world’s most successful jihadi terrorist groups. What with Ethiopia’s many internal problems – a civil war against Oromo and Tigray groups, near famine, precarious relations with neighbouring Eritrea – one would wonder why they would choose now to lash out – again! – against AS. Does the group pose that much of a threat to Ethiopia?

Not really – yet – although Ethiopian military action against AS will certainly get the latter’s attention and could lead to more attacks, possibly within Ethiopia itself. As an example, both Kenya and Uganda, participants in African Union military efforts against AS, have invited retaliatory action by the terrorist group. At least three Kenyan police officers were injured after AS terrorists attacked a security camp in the border region of Mandera on July 25. In a piece in Militant Wire, Lucas Webber (NB he will be on a future Borealis podcast) notes that AS attacks on Turkish armed forces in Mogadishu are also on the rise. Lesson: foreign military incursions to fight terrorism invite retribution from the very terrorists you are trying to defeat.

Ethiopia claimed it had killed more than 200 AS terrorists during AS’ incursion (another story said it was 600!) – including three ‘key AS leaders‘ – and received praise from the US for its actions. However, an unnamed senior US military official said the AS attack was not a ‘fluke’, adding that the group has somewhere between 7,000 and 12,000 fighters and is spending approximately U.S.$24 million a year – a quarter of its budget – on weapons, explosives and increasingly, on drones.

Why would AS attack Ethiopia? In an interesting piece by Caleb Weiss and Ryan O’Farrell in Long War Journal, it is deemed unlikely that AS is seeking to join up with the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), as some officials in both Ethiopia and Somalia maintain, as the OLA is not jihadist in nature. Wisis and O’Farrell suggest AS wants to establish a base in Ethiopia’s Bale Mountains for future action.

In Somalia itself AS seems to attack at whim, occasional Somali National Army (SNA) successes notwithstanding. Of note this week was a suicide attack in Somalia’s Southwest State in which Hassan Ibrahim Lugbur, that state’s justice minister was killed outside a mosque shortly after he performed the Friday prayer. In another attack south of Mogadishu an AS suicide bomber killed a district commissioner in Marka and nine others: the death toll later rose to 19.

In other terrorism news from Somalia:

Elsewhere in the world last week




  • Indonesian Police’s special counterterrorism squad, Densus 88, arrested 17 suspected terrorists in three different provinces, accused of belonging to the Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) network.



  • A group of Islamist terrorists attacked the town of Nangade in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado but were all killed or captured by the Mozambican defence forces and their allies from SAMIM (SADC Mission in Mozambique) on July 26.




The Sahel


West Africa

Foreign Fighters

Right-wing terrorism

We will be back next week with another summary of global terrorism.

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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