Weekly Analyst Review

BOTTOM LINE UPFRONT: A new Shia group called 'The Righteous Promise Brigade' was formed immediately after the Islamic State’s twin suicide bombing that took place in the Shia dominated area of Bab al-Sharqi in Baghdad on 21 January. Within two days of the suicide bombing 'The Righteous Promise Brigade' claimed the weaponized drone intercepted in route to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 23 January. Stated within the claim the 'The Righteous Promise Brigade' not only threatened more attacks on Saudi Arabian soil but also promised to attack Dubai, UAE as well as other Gulf countries whom they perceive as supporting Islamic State. It is unclear how this group received the intelligence to build a weaponized drone in the nascent state of just forming, however, it is highly likely that this Shia group is at least tacitly supported by Iran. As evidenced by that the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah's spokesman hailing ’The Righteous Promise Brigade' and advised other mujahideen to follow their path the day after the first drone launch. By 26 January, another weaponized drone was intercepted while targeting the headquarters of the Council of Experts in the Council of Ministers and Shura Council in Riyadh. That attack remains unclaimed at the time of this writing.
Top Incidents & Analysis
Images (Above): Kashmir Tigers logo
TRAC INCIDENT REPORT: New Jihadi / Separatist Group "Kashmir Tigers" Forms, Starts Telegram Channel, Circulates First Video and Makes First Claimed Attack in Kishtwar District, Jammu & Kashmir
On 20 January, a previously unknown group called the Kashmir Tigers launched a Telegram channel. The group's first post was a video of its latest member, a husband and father who had been missing from Anantnag for the past four months. A mere two days later the Kashmir Tigers claimed its first attack. This continued a trend we tracked in the last twelve months.
During 2020, several new groups appeared in Kashmir: People's Anti-Fascist Front (PAFF), TRF/JK Fighters – The Resistance Front, and Lashkar e Mustafa (LeM) aka “Hasnain Army." Given the already crowded jihadi landscape of Kashmir, it is unclear how successful any of these groups will be. That said, the Kashmir Tigers appears to have had a jump start, escalating rather quickly from time formed to first attack.
(Video) Sham al-Ribat (Tanzim Huras al-Din / Guardians of Religion / AQ in Syria): al-Osra Incrusion, Tal Saman, Northern Raqqa, Syria - 24 January 2021 (First Call on Lone Wolves)
In a video, Tanzim Huras al-Din / Guardians of Religion / AQ In Syria hails the mujahideen who carried out an attack on a Russian military base in Tal Saman, Raqqa on the 1st of January 2021. It provides footage of the attack and identified those who carried out the attack, who are: Zayd al-Shami, Osama, Qasora al-Shami, and al-Baraa al-Ansari. The video is remarkable for a number of reasons but most importantly, it marks the first time Tanzim Huras al-Din / Guardians of Religion / AQ In Syria has called on lone wolves to attack in the West. Tanzim Huras al-Din has typically only focused on the near enemy in Syria. Just the week prior Tanzim Huras al-Din's arch enemy in Syria, Hayy'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) inspired its first lone wolf attack, ironically in Russia. It is entirely possible that Tanzim Huras al-Din seeks to capitalize on their successful attack on Russian forces in Raqqa by also inspiring lone wolves in Russia.
Screenshots (above): A photo from the attack day including the name of the operation, location and date. (below) martyr brother Zayd al-Shami
Images: (Top) Statement (Below) Telegram Screenshot
TRAC INCIDENT REPORT: Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) Motivated Man Arrested with Improvised Explosive Device and a Shotgun in Bashkiria, Russia
On 22 January, a 25 year-old resident of Bashkiria, Vilshat Mygalimov was arrested in what was determined as a radically Islamic motivated bomb plot. At the scene, an arms cache and an IED were found buried in the snow. According to the suspect, he received the attack instructions from multiple sources online. Though details of the suspect remain scant, Bashkiria has been the site of Islamic State's Wilayat Kavkaz / Qawqaz activity. Media outlets reported that the suspect was acting at the behest of Hayy'at Tahrir al-Sham / HTS (Assembly for the Liberation of the Levant). If true, the suspect would mark the first HTS lone wolf transnational attack. HTS-affiliated Telegram accounts argue that the perpetrator was not HTS, blaming the FSB for creating a fake attack. In addition, HTS released a statement denying any connection to incident. However, TRAC notes that these same HTS accounts have detailed accounts of Vilshat Mygalimov that are not in main stream media.
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