Weekly Analyst Review
BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT: As he does every month, TRAC Senior Analyst Daniel Lebowitz provides a comprehensive roll-up of global Islamic State activities. Lebowitz documents and catalogues hundreds of videos, photos, audio, and claims of credit in his July report. In total, Islamic State claimed 172 attacks across the globe through their official media branch. The number of operations claimed in West Africa, (particularly in Cameroon) the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mozambique increased from last month, and attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan were slightly lower. Attacks attributed to the Syrian affiliate were drastically lower than usual, with only thirteen operations reported by Islamic State media. During the week of Eid al-Adha, a suicide bomber targeted Shia civilians in the Sadr City of Baghdad, Iraq and Katyusha rockets were fired at the Afghan presidential compound in Kabul on 20 July. Of an increase in activity in many regions, TRAC notes activity in Syria. Islamic State only reported thirteen claimed attacks in Syria for the month of July, and the province was not featured in the Eid al-Adha photo report rollout. Around thirty operations are claimed in Syria, usually concentrated around the Homs desert and Euphrates River Valley per month. 
Images (top): Screenshots of a video showing the scene; (below): Screenshot of chatter on AQ related channel.
TRAC Incident Report: Knife Attack at a Metro Bus Station Outside the Pentagon creates chatter on AQ affiliated channel
What was first reported as an active shooter turns out was indeed a knife attack on a police officer at the Metro stop. The assailant was identified as Austin William Lanz, 27, of Acworth, Georgia. He stabbed a police officer to death in what has been described as an ambush. The initial reports of an active shooter was likely the gunfire by police in response to the stabbing; it is unknown of Lanz had additional weapons besides the knife. Lanz was known to the police. Arrested in April 2021 in Cobb County, Georgia on two counts of aggravated battery on police and a count of making a terrorist threat as well as criminal trespassing charges. Lanz enlisted in the US Marine Corp but was 'administratively separated' before ever becoming a Marine. An al-Qaeda affiliated channel quickly broadcasted news of the active shooter with the title "America is burning" by saying that several people were killed and injured in a shooting outside the Pentagon. "America Burns" was the title of the last AQC propaganda video release in July 2021 and on the far right extremists' activities in the United States over the past 2 years. Thus, al-Qaeda could be broadcasting the shooting incident to further emphasize the far right activities in the United States.
TRAC INCIDENT REPORT: An Islamic State Wilayat Kavkaz / Qawqaz Woman/ Black Widow Suicide Bomber Turned Herself Into Police Before Bombing in Zheleznovodsk, Stavropol, Russia
On 2 August 2021, a young woman dressed in a hijab turned herself to police in the town of Zheleznovodsk in the Stavropol region. She stated that she changed her mind and did not want to commit a suicide bombing. The police department did not disclose her identity.
According to the unnamed suspect, several so-called black widows have prepared her to conduct a suicide attack on the May holiday International Workers' Day in Russia. She was taught how to make a suicide belt and made one. She met her recruiter women on line. The FSB and local police provide protection to her and her family members. Of particular concern is the fact that the woman reported that there were more Wilayat Kavkaz / Qawqaz women who are also planning attacks and recruiting other women. Given that she is now under police protection and her planned attack was so far in the future, the suspect must have in some way felt pressure from her handlers to turn her self in at this point and time. In April 2021, an Islamic State Wilayat Kavkaz / Qawqaz woman was arrested with a bomb in Norilsk in the Stavropol region.
Image (above): Zheleznovodsk, the Stavropol region
Images (above): Key port of Mocimboa da Praia, Mozambique
TRAC Incident Report: Rwandan and Mozambican Forces Retake Key Port of Mocimboa da Praia, Cabo Delgado, Mozambique
On 8 August, a joint operation conducted by recently arrived Rwandan soldiers and Mozambican Security Forces secured the port city of Mocimboa da Praia in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, allowing for airplanes to land at the airport for the first time in two years. The insertion of Rwandan forces was key to the successful operation, beginning with the retaking of Awasse in late July. The recapture of Mocimboa da Praia, the major port servicing the nearby liquified natural gas fields almost a year after the city fell to Islamist insurgents is a key step to restoring security in Cabo Delgado province. The city had been constantly attacked by Islamic State linked forces since 2017, and at least 1,000 Rwandan soldiers will remain to patrol and defend the area. Islamic State forces have raided a number of outlying villages near the port and neighboring Palma, and will most likely continue the fight from the jungle terrain further inland from the coast. 
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