NEWS

ISIS Annual Report Reveals 7 Disturbing Statistics From Terror Group Sweeping Iraq

18/06/2014 11:46 | Updated 18 June 2014

The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is rapidly gaining ground in Iraq – and these are the figures to prove it.

The group, which was once deemed too extreme even for al Qaeda, has been publishing corporate-style annual reports on their military campaign in Iraq since 2012.

On 31 March, the jihadist group issued its most recent version of the report “al Naba”, covering the period of November 2012 to November 2013.

cover art from the isis annual report

Cover art from the annual report

The report has been analysed by the US-based Institute for the Study of War, (ISW) which corroborates much of the information within.

The ISW describes ISIS as being in possession of a disciplined military command, which compiles the reports “in order to understand its own narrative about the war in Iraq.”

isis annual report

Total attack figures for 2012 and 2013 across all seven operating areas

With levels of precision to rival company accounts, the statistics illustrate the group's progress in its campaign to control territory in Iraq via bombings, assassinations, checkpoints and expulsion of defectors.

ISW adds: “The pursuit of a controlled military campaign by ISIS in Iraq and Syria undergirds their pursuit of a transnational emirate. How ISIS controls, defends, and expands its territory more directly legitimises the organisation than the endorsement of al Qaeda, which it has lost.”

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The militants laid siege to Iraq's largest oil refinery on Wednesday, threatening a facility key to the country's domestic supplies as part of their ongoing offensive north of the capital, a top security official told the Associated Press.

It follows last week's capture by militants of wide swathes of territory in northern Iraq.

Here are the main findings from the ISIS annual report:

  • ISIS annual reports are organised by attack type
    The attack types include: Assassination, armed attack, bombing (mortars, grenade launchers, and bockets), bombing and burning houses (HBIEDs), prisoners freed, suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (SVBIEDs), suicide vests (SVESTs), vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs), motorcycle-borne improvised explosive devices (MCBIEDs), improvised explosive devices (IEDs), knife attacks, targeted attacks, sniping, apostates repented, cities taken over, apostates run over, checkpoints set up, rafidha (defectors or deserters) expelled
  • 2013 figures reveal huge rise in activity
    In 2013 the group claimed nearly 10,000 operations in Iraq: 1,000 assassinations, 4,000 improvised explosive devices (IED) and hundreds of radical prisoners freed. It also claimed hundreds of “apostates” had repented. This is almost twice as much recorded activity in the year previously.
  • Reports are organised by operating areas
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    These are designated as Baghdad, Ninewa, South, Diyala, Anbar, Salad ad-Din and Northern Baghdad and Kirkuk.
  • IEDs were the most prevalent methods of attack in 2013
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    There were 4,465 IED attacks across the seven operating areas last year.
  • IED attacks are at their lowest occurrence in Baghdad
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    The ISW puts this down to ISIS lacking territorial control in the city in late 2013. It rationalises this as IEDs should be more prevalent because they are cheaper and easier to manufacture, but not necessarily to deploy. It also cites Baghdad’s urban environment (and hence less places to hide explosives) as likely being a factor to reducing IED use.
  • There were two apostates run over in 2012, and none in 2013
    Apostasy is the abandonment and renunciation of a religious belief or principle, in this case Islam.
  • 2013 signified the highest number of cities taken over, totalling eight
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    File picture.

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