Islamic State-linked ‘news’ agency claims 90 suicide attacks launched in February

A “news” outfit affiliated with the Islamic State says the “caliphate” carried out 90 suicide attacks in Iraq, Syria and Libya during the month of February. The claim was made by ‘Amaq News Agency, which is linked to the Islamic State and often provides reliable information about the group’s international operations.

An infographic produced by ‘Amaq, and released via social media earlier today, summarizes the “martyrdom operations” for February. It can be seen below. 51 of the suicide attacks involved the use of vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED) and the remaining 39 were executed using explosive belts.

‘Amaq previously released a similar summary for January (also seen below), claiming that 85 suicide operations were launched in Iraq and Syria. 47 of those used VBIEDs and the remaining 38 were launched by jihadists with suicide belts.

The Long War Journal has not independently verified these statistics, but the figures are plausible given the scale of the “caliphate’s” operations in these countries and prolific use of “martyrs.” However, the Islamic State is also known to exaggerate the impact of its operations and one should not assume that the infographics are completely accurate.

In addition, not all suicide operatives die willingly. Some are coerced to blow themselves up. Still, there is no doubt that the number of jihadists willing to die for the Islamic State’s cause has grown dramatically over the past few years.

‘Amaq News Agency infographic summarizing suicide operations in Iraq, Syria, and Libya in February:

16-03-04 IS suicide attacks in Feb 2016 (Iraq, Syria, Libya)

‘Amaq News Agency infographic summarizing suicide operations in Iraq and Syria in January:

16-02-02 IS claims 85 suicide attacks in Iraq, Syria in January

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal.

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4 Comments

  • ulises says:

    THE SUICIDE-ATTACKS ARE SIMILAR OF THE DRONES ARE VERY EFFECTIVE.

  • herkey says:

    i would love love love to have a used car biz in this area! it is booming! keep up the good work!

  • Evan says:

    Approximately 3 suicide attacks a day, and IS seems proud of it.
    Their stats are probably pretty accurate, as Mr. Joscelyn stated.
    There seems to be a tendency in the west to dismiss such organizations’ operatives as “cavemen.” The reality however, is that these groups, IS in particular are skilled beauracrats, adept at record keeping, amongst other things. Whether or not they consistently and intentionally exxagerate the effects of such operations is indisputable, but they have good reason to do so, i.e. propaganda.
    What’s almost certain is that the details of such operations, the jihadists involved, the methods used, the cost of the operation, the actual damage inflicted, whether or not the intended objectives were accomplished, etc. are being recorded, studied, and if need be, used to adjust tactics.
    These guys that we’re fighting are resourceful, intelligent, and
    highly motivated. They’ve been able to accomplish things that professional analysts have literally testified before the U.S. Congress as being “impossible.”
    Such as the ability to store charged thermal battery units for man portable air defense systems.

  • Dennis says:

    I too agree that it must be a “cult of personality” that is driving this …phenomenon. The bath (?)party, founded a half century ago,maybe more….in Iran and Syria as an ideology driven by Nazis during and after the II w.w..Alawites are descendants of Nazism as well. They truly believe they should hold sway over those “less” than them,…narcissistic, or madness?

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