IS under increasing military pressure, losing territory that it used to control in Syria and Iraq

Turkey faced a number of large-scale terrorist attacks

Political instability and insecurity in Lybia continued in 2016

AQIM carried out a series of attacks on hotels popular with Western citizens in Mali, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast. Jihadist terrorists also attacked Western citizens in the Middle-East and NorthAfrica (MENA) region, including in Egypt, Jordan and Lybia

Western Balkan countries

The conflict in Syria has had an enormous resonance in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia. More than 800 FTFs have so far travelled to Syria to join the armed conflict from the countries of the Western Balkans. In some parts of the Western Balkan region, radical Islamist ideology promoted by radical preachers and/or leaders of some salafist groups, challenging the traditional dominance of moderate Islam in the region, has gained considerable ground. Bosnia and Herzegovina, the so-called Sandzak region (between Serbia and Montenegro), Albanian-speaking territories in Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, and Albania until recently were considered the main hotspots for radicalisation, recruitment, and facilitation activities of FTFs destined for Syria. The region has also been a well- established and recognised travel route to and from conflict zones in the Middle East.

Common battle experiences amongst Western-Balkan FTF returnees may cross-cut ethnic and national boundaries after their return home and may pose a significant threat to the region.

The presence of illegal weapons, especially small and light weapons, as well as mines and explosive devices is a significant security issue in the Western Balkans. Available data do not corroborate media reports on the existence of socalled “training camps” in the region similar to those allegedly present in Syria, aimed at providing combat training.

The number of arrests made across the region in recent years attest to the fact that the primary terror threat to the region has been, and will continue to be, jihadist terrorism - represented by both returnees from the conflict zone in Syria and Iraq, and home-grown radicalised and inspired individuals. In November 2016 competent authorities of Albania, Kosovo and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia prevented the occurrence of two terrorist attacks planned to be committed on their territories, with 19 arrests in Kosovo and six in Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The attacks, allegedly intended to simultaneously target a football match in Albania (between Albania and Israel) and a target in Kosovo, are believed to have been planned and directed from Syria. TATP, firearms and electronic equipment were seized in police raids.

The level of threat posed by extreme leftwing, anarchist and extreme right-wing terrorism in Western Balkan countries appears to be insignificant compared to religiously motivated terrorism (primary threat) and ethno-nationalist and separatist terrorism (secondary threat) in the region.


IS claimed responsibility for several attacks in Dagestan in 2016.

IS Caucasus province tried to persuade people to fight in the Caucasus, rather than travel to Syria.

IS claimed an attack by two individuals on 17 August in Balashikha near Moscow on a Russian traffic police outpost. They had sent a video to A’maq News in which they explained that they were acting on IS orders to strike with whatever means available. They claimed to act in revenge for the killing of Muslims in Syria and Iraq.

North America and Australia

The US faced a number of lone actor attacks in 2016. The most severe attack took place on 12 June, when the perpetrator stormed a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people and taking hostages. In telephone calls to the emergency number, the attacker, who was subsequently killed by police, is reported to have pledged allegiance to IS. While questions about his motivations persist, A’maq News described him as an “Islamic State fighter ”.

Two other attacks in the USA were claimed by IS. On 17 September, a man stabbed and injured 10 people in a shopping mall in St Cloud, Minnesota. The attack was claimed by IS through A’maq News. On 28 November, an attacker rammed a car into a group of students at Ohio University, Columbus, Ohio, before attacking them with a knife. A total of 13 people were injured. The attack was claimed by IS through A’maq News.

Additional attacks that were not claimed by IS included two bomb attacks on 17 September in Seaside Park, New Jersey, and New York City, respectively. Whereas the first attack did not cause casualties, in the New York attack, 29 people were injured when a pressure cooker bomb exploded in a busy street. Another device was found nearby unexploded. On 18 September, an explosive device found in a train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey, exploded during an attempt to disarm it, causing no injuries. The individual believed to have carried out these attacks was arrested. This series of attacks was not commented on by IS, but it was praised, together with the St Cloud attack, in AQAP’s Inspire magazine, published in November 2016. Another lone actor attack was carried out on 7 January, when a police officer in Philadelphia was shot and injured by an individual pledging allegiance to IS. IS did not claim the attack. In addition to the attacks in the US, on 27 October, a security officer was stabbed outside the US embassy in Nairobi (Kenya). This attack was also claimed by IS through A’maq News.

In Canada, police in Strathroy, Ontario, killed a man planning to carry out a suicide attack using an IED on 10 August.

In November, a prominent Islamic State militant of Australian origin, who was thought to have been killed in an air strike in Iraq, was arrested in Turkey. In December, police arrested five men suspected of planning a terrorist attack in Melbourne on Christmas Day.


In 2016 IS came under increasing military pressure, losing territory that it used to control in Syria and Iraq. In Syria, the city and historic sites of Palmyra (or Tadmur in Arabic), which were captured by IS in 2015, were re-taken by the Syrian regime in March 2016 before briefly being re-captured by IS in December. An IS attack in December at a Crusader castle in the town of Karak in Jordan killed 10 people, including a Canadian tourist. In Iraq, IS lost strategic towns such as Ramadi in February and al-Falluja in June. The campaign to expel IS from Mosul was launched in October.

Several high-ranking IS leaders and propaganda officials were killed in 2016, including the official IS spokesman Abu Muhammad alAdnani in August. IS media production infrastructure was reportedly destroyed in Mosul.

Both in Syria and Iraq, IS continued destroying cultural heritage. Further destruction was reported from Palmyra. In June 2016, IS destroyed the 2800-year-old Nabu temple at the archaeological site of Nimrud near Mosul.

In Syria, the civil war entered its sixth year in 2016. Several attempts by the UN and other international actors to reach a lasting ceasefire, all of which excluded IS and Jabhat al-Nusra (“support front”), al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria, were unsuccessful. The regime continued to receive military support from Shi’i militias, Iran and Russia. IS, while on the defensive, continued to fight the regime and armed opposition forces. Thus, the Syrian armed opposition is locked in a two-front war against the regime on one side and IS on the other. Turkey sent troops into Syria in August to push back IS militants and Kurdish-led rebels from a section of the two countries’ border, in cooperation with a number of Arab opposition factions.

Syrian opposition forces consist of a multitude of groups of different orientations with varying degrees of cooperation. The core of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) still seems committed to a secular model of society. It cooperates with groups of Islamist orientation, but rarely with jihadist factions. This notwithstanding, in the course of the escalating conflict, in particular in the wake of Russia’s military intervention in support of the Syrian regime, the armed opposition in general has increasingly referred to Sunni concepts related to jihad and, in light of the support by Iran and Shi’i militias, adopted anti-Shi’i rhetoric.

In late July, Jabhat al-Nusra changed its name to Jabhat Fath al-Sham (“Levant conquest front”), declaring that it was an organisation without ties to any external organisation. This disassociation from al-Qaeda was likely done to eschew being labelled as a proscribed terrorist organisation. In addition, the move was designed to facilitate the group’s cooperation and integration within the Syrian armed opposition. In a speech in late August 2016, the nominal head of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, promoted the idea of creating a unified council in Syria that would decide disputes among “mujahidin”. A model for such a council was Jaysh al-Fath (“conquest army”), a coalition of fighting groups including the former Jabhat alNusra, which took control of Idlib in northern Syria in 2015. In 2016 jihadist ideologues and Jabhat Fath al-Sham promoted, with some success, the creation of Jaysh al-Fath in Aleppo, which acted alongside an FSA alliance in the opposition-controlled sections of the city during the siege by regime forces. In mid-December, however, regime troops and militias took control of the last sections of the city that had remained under opposition control. The defeat led to new efforts to unite the Syrian armed opposition. The main point of contention was whether a merged opposition force should include Jabhat Fath al-Sham

In January 2017 this dynamic led to the merger of several fighting factions, including Jabhat Fath alSham, into Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (“Levant liberation committee”).


Turkey faced a number of large-scale terrorist attacks in 2016, several of them attributed to jihadist groups, thereby continuing a series of attacks that started in mid-2015. On 12 January, a suicide attacker detonated an IED in the central historic district of Istanbul, killing 13 tourists, 12 of them German citizens. Turkish government sources attributed the attack to IS. In March, another suicide attack using an IED in a central shopping street in Istanbul killed four, including three Israeli citizens. In June, three suicide attackers killed 45 people at Istanbul airport. Another attack targeted a wedding in Gaziantep on 20 August, killing at least 50, including many children. The attack was attributed to IS. On 31 December, an attack targeted a nightclub in Istanbul, killing 39. The attack was claimed by IS. The perpetrator, reportedly an ethnic Kyrgyz with links to IS, was arrested.

Following Turkey’s military intervention in Syria in August, IS propaganda increasingly singled out Turkey as a major enemy of Islam and an ally of the West. IS insisted that dominant Muslim currents in Turkey deviated from true Islam and, consequently, have become legitimate attack targets.

Whereas in 2016 IS propaganda activity in the Turkish language faced the same challenges as that in Arabic, several internet sites in Turkish, which acted as news portals, were openly supportive of jihadist groups in Syria, including Jabhat Fath al-Sham, and alQaeda in general.

On 19 December, the Russian ambassador to Turkey was murdered by a Turkish national in Ankara. Jabhat Fath al-Sham denied responsibility, saying that the murder was a “natural reaction” to Russia’s interference in the Syrian war.

Other attacks, including a 10 December attack using a car bomb in Istanbul killing 38 people and a November attack by car bomb in Adana killing two, were not claimed or attributed.


In 2016, IS “Sinai province”, the IS affiliate in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, continued perpetrating terrorist attacks mainly targeting Egyptian security forces. In addition, IS tried to expand its area of operation beyond Sinai. For example, in January, a series of small-scale attacks targeted Egypt’s tourism industry. On 7 January a tourist bus was shot at in front of a hotel in Cairo without casualties. The following day, two men armed with knives attacked a tourist hotel in Hurghada, injuring three people. On 9 January, two policemen were killed in Giza. The attacks in Cairo and Giza were claimed by IS.

A suicide attack on a Coptic cathedral in Cairo on 11 December was claimed by an Egypt-based affiliate of IS, however without explicit reference to its Sinai branch. The attack killed 25 people, mainly women and children.

The cause of the crash of an Egyptian aeroplane travelling from Paris to Cairo with 66 people on board on 19 May remained unknown at the time of writing.


In North Africa the continued instability in Libya and the prospect of a large number of IS fighters of North African origin returning to their home countries remained a source of concern. The region witnessed the competition for dominance between al-Qaeda-linked groups and IS. This was illustrated in a series of videos published simultaneously in January 2016 by “provincial” media outlets, including IS Algeria province which emerged from a splinter group of alQaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) (Europol, EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) 2016, p. 32.) In the videos IS tried to specifically attract people from North Africa, with several of the videos targeting alQaeda followers in the region, calling on them to pledge allegiance to IS.

In Libya, political instability and insecurity continued in 2016 despite the creation of a joint Presidency Council in the Libyan capital Tripoli in March 2016, which was tasked with forming a unity government comprising the two existing governments in Tripoli in western Libya, and Tobruk and al-Bayda in eastern Libya. In addition, the forces of General Khalifa Haftar, who rejected the agreement, extended the territories under their control beyond Benghazi, seizing much of the oil-rich Gulf of Sirte in September. The competition for control over Libya’s natural resources is expected to continue fuelling tensions between the different competing factions.

Meanwhile, in early December, forces loyal to the unity government took complete control of Sirte. IS had seized the city in early 2015, at one point controlling some 300 km of the Mediterranean coastline. The campaign against IS started in May 2016, supported by US airstrikes starting in August. IS had already lost the eastern Libyan coastal town of Darna in 2015. It was able to maintain a presence in suburbs of Benghazi for much of 2016, before being defeated there by Haftar forces.

The number of IS fighters in Libya reportedly increased twofold from 2015 to 2016, reaching between 4000 and 6000 by April 2016. However, the forces were described as less successful in seizing territory and apparently comprised very few local fighters. IS carried out several large-scale terrorist attacks in Libya in 2016. These included a lorry bomb attack on 7 January, which killed dozens at a police training centre in Zliten. The attack was claimed by IS Tripoli province. On 21 January IS attacked Ras Lanuf oil terminal, setting oil storage tanks ablaze.

After the decline of its affiliate Ansar al-Shari’a (“shari’a supporters”) in Libya, parts of which had joined IS, al-Qaeda tried to maintain its influence in Libya. For example, in January 2016, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) released a recording in which it accused Italy of occupying the Libyan capital Tripoli (referring to an Italian general, who is the senior military advisor for UNSMIL in Libya). In an audio statement released on 9 October, AQIM’s leader Abu Mus’ab Abdulwadud called upon Muslims in Libya to unite against secular forces. In particular, he exhorted all Muslims to oppose Khalifa Haftar’s aggression in Benghazi. The group denounced the alliance between local secular groups, including Haftar’s Libyan National Army, and international actors (Egypt and UAE).

The Libyan crisis continued to affect neighbouring countries, in particular Tunisia. On 7 March, a massive attack on Tunisian police and military in Ben Guerdane on the Libyan border killed 45 people, including 28 attackers. IS was suspected to have carried out the attack. Tunisia fears that the return of thousands of foreign fighters from conflict areas, and extraditions from Europe, will have a destabilising effect on the country.


In late 2015 and 2016, AQIM carried out a series of attacks on hotels popular with Western citizens in Mali, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast. AQIM claimed that the attacks targeted locations used for espionage and conspiracies against Muslims. This string of attacks from north to south in West Africa likely aimed to increase the group’s relevance in the region in the face of the IS challenge. After an attack on a hotel in the Malian capital Bamako on 20 November 2015, which was claimed by al-Murabitun in cooperation with AQIM (Europol, EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) 2016, pp. 32-33.) , a similar attack on a hotel took place in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, on 16 January 2016. The attack was claimed by AQIM in a 17 January statement. On Telegram, the attack had earlier been attributed to al-Murabitun, which had joined AQIM in December 2015. On 13 March 2016, another group of terrorists attacked a tourist resort near Abidjan, capital of Ivory Coast, killing 19. The attack was claimed by AQIM in a statement issued the same day.

AQIM increased its propaganda output targeting Sahel countries in 2016. It adopted propaganda styles developed by IS. For example, AQIM issued videos showing the killing of alleged spies, accused of working for France, albeit without the same amount of graphic detail.

Its messages to local populations, however, differ notably from those of IS. Rather than threatening Muslims with accusations of unbelief if they fail to join the group, AQIM purported to defend the interests and lives of the Muslim population, while punishing “corrupt” governments for their collusion with foreign powers against Muslims. Western companies were labelled as legitimate targets for their alleged exploitation of the Muslim population and the pollution of Muslim land. For example, in March, AQIM claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on a gas plant in Algeria jointly run by BP and Statoil, saying it was part of its “war on the interests of the Crusaders”. In a May statement, AQIM claimed an attack on the uranium mine in Arlit, Niger, operated by French company Areva. It then reaffirmed its intention to strike French targets.

In Mali, AQIM continued to claim attacks on Malian, French and MINUSMA (The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali.) troops in 2016 and to incite people to fight or support the fight against the Malian government, alleging that the latter brought French troops to the country. In an 8 July audio message, the head of AQIM’s Sahara division called upon Muslims in Mali to fight against France. He referred to the powerful role France still played in its former colonies. Several Western hostages were held by AQIM in Mali in 2016, including a Swedish and a South African citizen and a Swiss woman.

Since late 2015, the enemies of the UN mission in Mali, including AQIM and Ansar al-Din (“supporters of the religion”, Ansar Dine), increased their cooperation, for example by exchanging expertise in IED production and modus operandi. In several attacks in 2016, UN troops and Mauritanian soldiers were killed. These included a joint attack by AQIM, Ansar al-Din and another local group on 21 July on a military post in Nampala near the Mauritanian border, which killed at least 17 Mauritanian soldiers.

The competition between AQIM and IS, which in 2015 led to a split within al-Murabitun (Europol, EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) 2016, p. 32.) , continued in 2016. In late October, IS’s A’maq News publicised a repetition of the pledge of allegiance by al-Murabitun’s IS-leaning faction to the IS leadership. As mentioned above, immediately after this, AQIM released a video showing a Romanian hostage supposedly held by the IS faction. Whereas the faction was not officially integrated into IS’s system of “provinces”, several attacks in the Sahel region in the last quarter of 2016 were attributed to this IS branch. In Nigeria, jihadist militia Boko Haram, which had pledged allegiance to IS in March 2015, changing its name into IS’s “West Africa province” (Europol, EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) 2016, p. 33.) , split in early August 2016 when IS’s al-Naba’ newsletter introduced Boko Haram’s former spokesman as the new “governor” of the “province”. The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, rejected the appointment, insisting that he remained in charge. In late December, the Nigerian army claimed having defeated Boko Haram militarily. In a reply, Abubakar Shekau denied that the group had been driven from its stronghold in the Sambisa Forest in north-eastern Nigeria.

Arabian Peninsula

Yemen’s civil war between the Houthi rebels and the internationally recognised government under AbdRabbu Mansour Hadi continued to undermine the security and political infrastructure of the country, which has suffered a humanitarian catastrophe as a result. After capturing the Yemeni capital Sana’a in September 2014, the Houthi rebels ousted the government in February 2015. In response, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Sunni Arab countries, backed by Western powers, launched a military intervention with the aim of reinstating the Hadi government.

The conflict has a pronounced sectarian character: on the one side the Houthis, who belong to the Zaydi branch of Shi’i Islam, are accused of receiving support from Iran; on the other the government is supported internally by Sunni Islamist militias and tribal forces and externally by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition. In this climate, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), based on its Sunni extremist ideology, has been able to forge alliances with Sunni tribes and militias, which have enabled it to multiply its fighters and resources. The group took control of territory along the southern coast of Hadramawt province in April 2015, including the provincial capital al-Mukalla. In dealing with the local populations in territories under its control, it took lessons from an earlier attempt at governance in southern Yemen in 2011-12. It emphasised the provision of services, education and justice based on Islamic law to the population, while refraining from implementing severe punishments, except for alleged spies. Rather than exercising power directly, AQAP created a governing council comprising local dignitaries. Despite being driven from al-Mukalla in May 2016, AQAP continued its activities in the region, often blending into the local population.

Compared with AQAP, IS has a rather small following in Yemen. Being primarily present in urban areas, in particular Aden which was occupied by Houthi forces in 2015, it claimed a number of attacks on Houthi and Hadi government targets, including several suicide attacks by VBIEDs in Aden in May, June and December 2016.

In Saudi Arabia, IS was accused of being behind a series of bomb attacks in early July. On 4 July a suicide attacker detonated his explosive belt near the US consulate in Jeddah, when approached by police. The affiliation of the individual remained unknown at the time of writing. On the same day, a similar attack took place near the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, in which the attacker and four security staff were killed. A third bomb attack in the eastern majority Shi’i city of Katif killed only the attacker.


Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahidin (HSM, “mujahid youth movement”) continued activities in Somalia and reaching out to Kenya. Although it had previously lost control of urban centres, in 2016 it perpetrated at least seven large-scale terrorist attacks on restaurants, hotels and markets in Mogadishu, several of which combined the explosion of an IED with a subsequent ambush using firearms. Similar attacks were perpetrated in other cities. On 14 January, HSM attacked AMISOM troops in southern Somalia, killing a large number of soldiers. A 27 July HSM suicide attack on the AMISOM headquarters in Mogadishu killed at least seven people. In addition, HSM perpetrated two attacks on residential compounds in Mandera, north-east Kenya on 6 and 15 October, killing 6 and 12 people respectively. In January HSM published a video showing the killing of a Ugandan soldier.

A faction that split from HSM in Somalia in October 2015 and pledged allegiance to IS (7 Europol, EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) 2016, p. 33.) continued its activities despite attempts by HSM to suppress it. The group, whose numbers probably do not exceed 200, has not been officially recognised by IS. Nevertheless, in late October 2016 it succeeded in taking control of the coastal town of Qandala in Puntland, from which it was expelled in late December. Another split-off from HSM, using the name Jahba East Africa and reportedly consisting of former HSM members from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, pledged allegiance to IS in April 2016. The same month, the group attacked an AMISOM convoy in Somalia.

An IED exploded in an aeroplane of a local airline during a flight from Mogadishu to Djibouti on 2 February. The detonation ripped a hole in the skin of the aircraft; the alleged perpetrator died when he was sucked out of the passenger compartment. The pilot managed to perform an emergency landing. Reportedly, the individual was originally booked on a Turkish Airlines flight. The attack was not claimed by any group.

South-east Asia

In Afghanistan, since NATO forces withdrew from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, the Taleban have expanded the territory that they control. In 2016, their offensives were focused on the provinces of Baghlan in the north and Helmand and Uruzgan in the south. In March, the Taleban announced that they were preparing to capture major cities in Afghanistan. In mid-April and again in October, they started offensives to retake Kunduz, which they had briefly captured in late September 2015. In late October, they blocked the connection between Kabul and the southern city of Kandahar. In addition, the Taleban claimed a significant number of large-scale terrorist attacks, many of which targeted military and security forces. Several attacks combined the use of VBIEDs with an ambush using firearms. By contrast, the Taleban denied responsibility for the explosion of an IED hidden in a motorcycle on a market in Badakhshan province on 20 June.

Several attacks on Western targets were claimed by the Taleban. On 20 June, a suicide attack by a PBIED targeted Nepalese security personnel working for the Canadian Embassy in Kabul. The attack, which killed 14 people, was claimed by the Taleban. On 1 August, the Taleban carried out a lorry bomb attack on a hotel in Kabul popular with Western citizens. One policeman and three attackers were killed. On 24 August, the American University of Afghanistan was attacked by several armed fighters, some reportedly wearing suicide vests. Hundreds of students and foreign teachers were taken hostage for 10 hours. Seven students, two university security guards and three policemen were reportedly killed. The attack was attributed to the Taleban but not claimed by the group. On 10 November, the Taleban attacked the German consulate in Mazare-Sharif in northern Afghanistan with a VBIED and possibly firearms. The German consulate personnel remained unharmed, but six people were killed and many injured, most of them civilians present at the site. The Taleban claimed the attack, saying that it was revenge for a US attack on Kunduz. On 12 November, a PBIED suicide attack targeted a sports event inside the US military base on Bagram Airfield near Kabul on 12 November. The attack killed a total of 5 US citizens. The attack was claimed by the Taleban.

In 2016, the IS affiliate in Afghanistan (“Khorasan province”) increased its attacks in particular in the east of the country. On 23 July, two simultaneous IED explosions killed around 100 people in Kabul, mainly of the Shi’i Hazara ethnic minority. The attack was claimed by IS through A’maq News. On 11 October, three armed individuals attacked a Shi’i shrine in Kabul during a religious ceremony, killing 14 people. The attack was attributed to IS. Responsibility for a suicide attack on 19 April, on the headquarters of the Afghan intelligence service in Kabul which killed at least 64 people, was disputed between the Taleban and IS.

Three Australians and one US citizen were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2016. In April, an Australian charity worker was abducted by unknown militants in Jalalabad and was released 4 months later. In August, the Taleban abducted a US and an Australian citizen in Kabul. The two victims were academics working at the American University of Afghanistan. In November, another Australian, working at a non-governmental organisation, was kidnapped in Kabul. The three hostages remained in captivity at the time of writing.

The Taleban leader was killed in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province in May 2016. A successor was appointed by the Taleban’s Shura Council within days.

Pakistan continued to suffer terrorist attacks in 2016, which targeted universities, security forces and religious minorities. These were carried out by local jihadist groups, Taleban offshoots or alleged IS affiliates. In Bangladesh, 20 people, including 18 foreigners, were killed in an attack on a bakery located near diplomatic representations in Dhaka on 1 July. A claim of responsibility by IS was dismissed by government sources, which attributed the attack to Jamaat-ul-Mujhaideen. Nevertheless, the attack was celebrated by IS in the October issue of Rumiyah. In Indonesia, IS claimed an attack on “a gathering of citizens of the Crusader coalition, which fights the Islamic State” in Jakarta on 14 January. The attack, which was carried out using several simultaneously-detonated IEDs and firearms, killed at least eight people. One Dutch UN employee was injured.