Weekly Analyst Review
BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT: Five new Shia militias (International resistance faction, Saraya Awliyaa al-Dam (Guardians of blood), Saraya Qassem al-Jabereen, Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas Brigade, and Ashab al-Kahf) all appear to have been specifically created for the sole purpose of targeting United States convoys in Iraq. These groups combined have attacked United States' logistics convoys in Iraq 45 times since January 2021 alone and to date have claimed no other attacks except ambushes on US logistics convoys. On 08 April both the As Saraya Awliyaa al-Dam (Guardians of blood) and  Ashab al-Kahf group released separate statements mentioning that they will continue to attack the United States while protecting those working in the security forces. Ashab al-Kahf group's message is clear, the US is seen as an occupying force that must leave Iraq or face the consequences; additionally Emiratis and Saudis are also considered the enemy for normalizing ties with Israel with the Abraham Accords.
Image (Above): Infographic: 'The Soldiers of the Caliphate Control the City of Palma,' published in an-Naba #280, 55 killed (including westerners, Christians and Mozambican troops), a large number of vehicles destroyed or seized.
TRAC Insight: Overview of Islamic State Global Operations for March 2021 (The Siege of Palma, Mozambique)
In total, Islamic State claimed 131 attacks across the globe through their official media branch during the month of March 2021. However, for the month of March, attacks in Central Africa stand out as the two leaders of the Islamic State Central Africa (ISCA) affiliate, encompassing the two franchises operating in the Congo (DRC) and Mozambique were officially designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) on 10 March 2021. Just weeks after the designation was announced, ISCA militants besieged the town of Palma, near the liquified natural gas (LNG) reserves currently under development by French Total oil company. Islamic State claimed the siege following three days of bloodshed; this being the first official claim from the Mozambican branch of the affiliate since October 2020. In a related development, the Pentagon announced that US Special Forces are to train Mozambican soldiers in countering Islamic State. The Islamists still control Mocimboa de Praia; recent amateur video footage smuggled from the port city reveals largely abandoned, desolate streets. The corporation recently announced their return to the area, citing improved security. Aside from causing thousands of civilians to flee their homes, ISCA militants stand accused of beheading children, some as young as eleven years old.In the wake of the Palma attack, at least 12 foreign nationals were found beheaded near their hotel. Additionally, ISCA may be a whole lot more well financed, at least $1 million has been purported stolen from the bank inside Palma city. In the Congo, the group is suspected of enlisting children at a remote training camp, based on photos circulated on Telegram.
TRAC Incident Report: Youth Loyalist Rioters Hijack a Passenger Bus and Set it on Fire on Shankill Road, Larnark Way, West Belfast, Northern Ireland
The United Kingdom's Brexit has exacerbated the political divide in Northern Ireland with some identifying themselves as British and wanting to remain part of the UK, while others identify themselves as Irish and seeking to unite with the European Union member, as "The Republic of Ireland." This divide is also a decades-old religious one between Catholics Protestants. On the night of 7 April 2021, clashes escalated between British loyalists (Protestants) and Irish separatists (Catholics) in western Belfast, Northern Ireland. The situation escalated when the two sides clashed across the wall that separates a British loyalist neighborhood from an Irish nationalist one. During the clashes youth loyalist rioters, some as young as 12-13 years of age, hijacked a bus and set it on fire in Shankill road area, Larnark way, west Belfast of Northern Ireland. The driver of the bus managed to escape the bus when the rioters started throwing Molotov cocktails on the bus. During the incident, a press photographer was injured and his cameras were damaged.
Images (Above): Passenger bus that was hijacked and set on fire in west Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Images: (Above) Screenshots from video taken during the FSB raid and the various items seized.
TRAC INCIDENT REPORT: FSB Arrest Two Purported Hayy'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) Supporters Plotting Bombings on Educational Institutions in Crimea, Russia
On 9 April 2021, FSB operatives detained two purported Hayy'at Tahrir al-Sham / HTS (Assembly for the Liberation of the Levant) recruits, who planned an attack in Crimea, Russia. Both recruits, born in 1992 and 1996, communicated with HTS militants via the Internet about plans to attack one of educational facilities in Crimea. FSB agents found explosive devices, radical literature, and cell phones at their house. It was shown that one the detainees had been sending money to HTS militants for a long time. There are several records of conversations with Russian speaking militants, allegedly Faruq Shami, an HTS recruit. According to these records, both militants would relocate to Syria after the attack/attacks in Crimea. This isn't the first time FSB have claimed to have captured HTS militants with a bomb. The first purported HTS transnational plot was in mid-January 2021 in Bashkiria, although HTS denied any association with the Bashkiria plot. It should be noted that Russia has been pressuring Turkey to put the screws on HTS to stop the al Qaeda affiliate in Syria to stop ambushing their convoys. Additionally, Russia is in a tight situation in its attempts to justify militarily crossing over the border into Ukraine, given the proximity of Crimea's location to the Ukraine border is convenient.  
On Our Radar:
TRAC Incident Report: Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) Claims Second Raid, Razing NGO Humanitarian Facilities, on Damask in a Single Month, Borno, Nigeria
..."White Lives Matter"
...Rally Declared
...'Unlawful Assembly' Interactions
...Between Protestors
...Turn Hostile in
...Huntington Beach,
...Orange County,
.....REPORT: Nine
.....Herders Purportedly
.....Killed By Somali
.....Special Forces at the
.....Border in the Afar
.....Region, Ethiopia
TRAC's Weekly Analyst Review is a small curated list of many events.
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