Perspectives This week in terrorism

The week in terrorism: January 22-28, 2024

Sunni jihadis again dominate the global terrorism scene this week and an ISIS attack in Istanbul is a reminder the group is still active.

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.

Date Location Method Responsibility Casualties Type 
Jan 22Khan Yunis, GazagunsHamas?20 dIslamist
Jan 24Mudug Region, SomaliagunsAl Shabaab?Islamist
Mogadishu, Somaliasuicide bomberAl Shabaab2 d 2 wIslamist
Jan 25Diffa, NigergunsBoko Haram10 wIslamist
Turbat, Pakistanguns?1 dIslamist
Jan 27Northern IsraelrocketsHizballah4 wIslamist
Saravan, Iranguns?9 d 4 wIslamist?
Jan 28Istanbul, TurkeygunsISIS1 dIslamist?
Northeast JordandroneIslamic Resistance of Iraq3 d 34 wIslamist


Aside from the usual Al Shabaab attacks in Somalia and the violence associated with the Gaza war (although the deaths of 20 Israeli soldiers by Hamas was very significant), the most interesting attack this week was the killing of a man in a Catholic church in Istanbul. ISIS claimed responsibility for the act and it was not the first time is has carried out violence in Turkey. A few items are of note:

  • we must be careful with ‘claims’: terrorist groups do make such statements even when they were not behind the attack;
  • ISIS is a likely candidate, however, given the aforementioned previous attacks in Turkey and the jihadi hatred for anything not in tune with its version of Islam;
  • the low level of sophistication and very small casualty count (1 dead) is similar to many recent plots in the West;
  • initial reporting that this was a targeted attack and may have had nothing to do with terrorism could be an effort by the state to assert “nothing to see here”.

Hamas hints at responsibility for Khan Yunis attack that killed 20 Israeli soldiers – Middle East Monitor

Al-Shabaab launches raid in mudug region, targets government forces (

Suicide bombing kills at least 2 in Somali capital (

Niger: army repeals Boko Haram attack, kills dozens of jihadist fighters – The North Africa Post

Policeman martyred in attack on election commissioner’s office in Turbat – Pakistan – DAWN.COM

Hezbollah attacks Israeli posts after violent night — Naharnet

9 Pakistanis killed in Iranian city of Saravan, confirms diplomat in Tehran – World – DAWN.COM; 9 Pakistanis killed in attack on vehicle repair shop in Iran (; Gunmen in Iran kill nine foreign nationals near Pakistan border – report – Middle East Monitor; Gunmen kill 9 Pakistanis in southeastern Iran days after tit-for-tat strikes : The Tribune India; Iran-Pakistan tensions rise again: Unidentified gunmen kill 9 Pakistanis in Iranian city of Saravan – Times of India (; Gunmen in Iran kill 9 foreigners near Pakistan border: report | The Daily Star

Two Masked Attackers Kill 1 in Shooting at Istanbul Church – The New York Times (; Istanbul: Gunmen attack Italian church, killing one person – DW – 01/28/2024; TURKEY Istanbul, attack on a church during Mass: one dead (; Islamic State group claims responsibility for an attack on an Istanbul church that killed one person | AP News; Turkey arrests 47 alleged IS members over Istanbul church attack | Euronews

Drone Strike Kills 3 U.S. Soldiers in Jordan, White House Says: Live Updates – The New York Times (; Iran denies involvement in drone strike that killed three US troops – BBC News; 3 U.S. troops were killed and 34 wounded in a drone strike on a base in Jordan : NPR; Iran denies involvement in drone attack that killed 3 US soldiers in Jordan | Conflict News | Al Jazeera

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.