This blog is an attempt to track terrorist attacks worldwide on a weekly basis. While recognising the challenges in defining ‘terrorism’, the incidents listed here will be limited to attacks committed – or claimed – by known terrorist groups (Al Qaeda, Islamic State, FARC, etc.) or those where there is a clear underlying ideological, religious or political motive. Only actual attacks carried out, and not those thwarted through arrests, will be listed (for unsuccessful plots check out Borealis’ X feed @borealissaves). This list makes no claim to be exhaustive as it is limited by time and resources available to scan open source intelligence (OSINT).
Events where information is still being gathered may be included with a caveat that they may not turn out in the end to be terrorist in nature. Crimes motivated solely by hate will NOT appear here. Borealis realises that this too is problematic but believes that a distinction between terrorism and hate crimes is worth maintaining.
After the listing of individual incidents analysis of the visible trendlines will be briefly discussed. Multiple, independent sources (OSINT) will be listed wherever possible.
|Islamic Resistance in Iraq?
|Borno State, Nigeria
|Boko Haram? ISWAP?
|84-211 d 141 w
|Lanao del Norte, Philippines
|Dawlah Islamiya? (ISIS-linked)
|Garissa County, Kenya
|Cabo Delgado, Mozambique
|Erbil Province, Iraq
|Islamic Resistance in Iraq
|5 d 14 w
|Salahhedin Province, Iraq
|4 d 1 w
Gunmen kill 6 barbers in a former stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban near the Afghan border | AP News; Gunmen Kill 6 Barbers In A Former Stronghold Of The Pakistani Taliban Near The Afghan Border (rferl.org); 6 young barbers slaughtered execution-style in N Waziristan (tribune.com.pk)
At least 103 dead in bomb blasts near Iran general Qasem Soleimani’s tomb – state TV (bbc.com); Iran Vows Response After Explosions Kill More Than 100 Near Ceremony For Slain General (rferl.org); More than 100 killed in Iran blasts near Soleimani’s tomb during ceremony | News | Al Jazeera; Death toll rises to 211 in ‘terrorist attacks’ near Iran general Soleimani’s tomb (ynetnews.com); Deadly blast in Iran looks like ‘a terrorist attack,’ possibly ISIS -senior US official | Reuters; Iran: What we know about the deadly blasts – DW – 01/04/2024; Confusion, speculation in Iran after twin blasts kill more than 80 people | News | Al Jazeera; Researcher blames ISIS for deadly Iran blasts | Rudaw.net; IS claims responsibility for deadly Iran bombings that killed 84 (bbc.com); Iran Says Several Suspects Detained Over Suicide Bombings As Country Mourns Victims (rferl.org)
2024 started out as 2023 ended with a virtual jihadist monopoly on terrorism, a trend that has been manifest globally for more than two decades. Not a single attack attributed to what is known broadly as the ‘far right’ was detected.
The consequences of the October 7, 2023 Hamas attack on southern Israel and subsequent Israeli military invasion of Gaza continue to be felt. Many are fearful that the longer the war continues the greater the chances of a metathesis in the region (Hizballah for example has upped its strikes into northern Israel and ISIS has called for attacks against Israel and Jews, leading some countries to raise their terrorism threat level).
The attack claimed by ISIS in southwestern Iran is of note. Iran is normally seen as a ‘state sponsor’ of terrorism, which is accurate, but it is also a victim. The sheer scale of the attack (casualty figures have risen and fallen wildly over the last few days but it looks like around 100 were killed in the suicide attack and several hundred others wounded) demonstrates again that one of the main targets of Sunni jihadis are Shia Muslims (jihadis see Shia as apostates). Iran is also the victim of Sunni Ahvazi separatists (Borealis will feature these in an upcoming ‘Terrorist Group Profile’ piece).
Similarly, ISIS in Khorasan (ISK) continues to see Afghan Shia as deserving of death. This is another trend that has been prolific in Afghanistan.
The continued success of Boko Haram and ISIS in West Africa (ISWAP) once again demonstrates that the Nigeria government’s claim that it is ‘winning’ the war on terrorism in the country’s NW is false. Unhelpfully, Nigeria calls many actors terrorists, including ‘bandits’ who are not motivated by ideology and would be best labelled common criminals (albeit ones who have killed and wounded thousands in recent years). Countries to the west of Nigeria – Benin, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal – are seeing spikes in jihadi levels as well.
Finally, Pakistan’s struggle against their version of the Taliban – TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban-Pakistan) – and Baluchi separatists shows little signs of ebbing. In nearby Bangladesh, efforts by the ruling Awami League to eliminate democracy (Shaikh Hasina won another majority in a vote where the opposition BNP was practically eliminated through arrests) are making counter terrorism operations against real terrorists (i.e. jihadis) complicated.