Britain tops list of new Isis propaganda targets, research shows

TRAC's latest report maps the key targets for Isis - or, at least, its propagandists

TRAC's latest report maps the key targets for Isis - or, at least, its propagandists

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The number of attacks claimed by Islamic State has increased ten-fold in just two years - and Britain is top of its new list of targets, according to a terror monitoring group.

TRAC Terrorism has chronicled every single attack claimed by Isis outside Iraq and Syria over the last three Western summers, looking at the period between May and September.

Some of the attack claims may be false, and indeed there have been widespread claims that Isis is happy to claim any terror attack to boost its own profile.

However TRAC says the research, which took six months to compile, provides "a guide to how and where the Islamic State has imagined its own future" and enables us "to better understand the Islamic State and its global projection efforts."

The research finds that Isis media outlets claimed 21 attacks in seven countries during Summer 2015. This rose to 80 attacks in 21 countries during Summer 2016, and 222 attacks in 21 countries in Summer 2017.

The researchers found that the United Kingdom topped Isis's "newcomers list" - the countries which witnessed Isis-claimed attacks for the first time in Summer 2017 - with three high-profile attacks. 

However the number of attacks claimed by Isis in the UK pales into insignificance compared with some other countries outside Europe. In fact three countries - Egypt, Afghanistan and the Philippines - witnessed a total of 175 attacks claimed by the jihadist propagandists in Summer 2017. In its report, TRAC claims these countries "represent the narrative of [Isis] future territory."

Across the 21 countries which witnessed attack claims in Summer 2017, Isis media claimed to have killed at least 877 government/military personnel and 121 civilians. Many claims did not specify the number killed but said, for example, "50 dead and wounded" or had an unspecified number killed. For those without a number killed, TRAC added 1 killed. 

However the research also appears to show that several countries have tightened up their security and nullified the Isis threat - or, at, least, no longer merit the attention of the group's media outlets. Indeed 10 countries which had been attacked in 2015 and 2016, including Germany and Saudi Arabia, received not a single claimed attack this summer.

Out of the 32 total countries attacked spanning three years, only four countries— France, Libya, Yemen and Egypt— were attacked three Summers in a row. Libya, Yemen and Egypt are Islamic State;provinces of the Caliphate. Even with the recent spate of claims in the UK, France has been, by far the country, hardest hit by Isis in Europe.

For more information on TRAC and its work, click here to visit the group's website.