Maat: 123 terrorist attacks occurred in the Arab region during the 2nd quarter of 2022
Okeil: Civilians are the most affected by terrorist operations, as about 265 civilians were killed compared to 184 soldiers
Sherif Abdul-Hamid: ISIS remains the primary terrorist organization that threatens stability in the Arab region
Ali Al-Jammal: conflict countries recorded the majority of terrorist operations during the second quarter of 2022
Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights issued its quarterly report entitled "Terrorism Index in the Arab Region during the Second Quarter of 2022", which monitored and analyzed the phenomenon of terrorism in the Arab region as well as its associated activities and interactions with terrorist groups during the period from April to June 2022. The report, in its track of terrorist operations, adopted various methods and investigative approaches with the aim of achieving the greatest possible benefit and producing the most accurate results.
According to the report, despite the decline in terrorist operations in the Arab region during the second quarter of 2022 compared to the first quarter of the same year, terrorism still poses a grave threat to civilians and military personnel alike. From the beginning of April until the end of June 2022, terrorist organizations announced their adoption of 123 terrorist operations, compared to more than 209 terrorist attacks in the first quarter of the same year, showing a remarkable decline in the total number of terrorist operations for the first time in almost two years. These terrorist operations claimed the lives of 462 civilians and soldiers, and caused the injury of 326 others, the majority of whom were women and children.
The report attributed this decline to the cautious stability that prevailed in Somalia after holding presidential elections and declaring Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud as the president of the state, this in addition to extending the truce between the Houthis and Yemen’s Presidential Council in June 2022 as well as the counter-terrorism measures that some Arab countries have taken to curb the activities of terrorist groups, which have been carefully monitoring the political developments in the Arab region, and the lack of their financial resources.
In this context, Ayman Okeil, the international human rights expert and president of Maat, pointed out that civilians are the most affected by terrorist operations in the Arab region, as 265 civilians, including women and children, were killed in the second quarter of 2022, which is 57.3% of the total deaths in the Arab region as a result of terrorist operations. In addition, 120 civilians were injured, including cases with serious injuries, accounting for 36.8 of the total injuries caused by terrorist operations in the Arab region in the second quarter of 2022. Okeil added that Syria, Iraq, and Somalia are the three countries that recorded the most terrorist operations in the second quarter of 2022, as the three countries recorded 103 terrorist operations, or 87% of the total terrorist operations in the Arab region.
Sherif Abdul-Hamid, director of the Research and Studies Unit at Maat, stated that ISIS remains the primary terrorist organization threatening stability in the Arab region. With 37, or 30% of the total terrorist operations in the Arab region, ISIS topped the list of the most active terrorist organizations, whereas its affiliate groups adopted some other operations.
For the first time in nearly two years, Abdul-Hamid added, 14 Arab countries managed to keep their record clean of terrorist operations, which is remarkable progress demonstrating the effectiveness of anti-terrorism measures and the efforts to dry up its funding sources. This improvement is also attributed to the effective truce between the Houthis and Yemen’s Presidential Council, as the Houthis stopped firing ballistic missiles and drones at neighboring countries in the second quarter of 2022, in addition to the exchange of experiences and best practices among Arab countries, United Nations agencies and member states of the international coalition to defeat ISIS.
For his part, Ali Al-Jammal, a researcher at Maat, said that the countries of armed conflicts and the Arab countries going through faltering transition periods, such as Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and Sudan, recorded the majority of terrorist operations. Terrorist groups in the Arab region carried out 120 terrorist operations in the six mentioned countries alone, which is 97% of the total terrorist operations in the Arab region in the second quarter of 2022.
Finally, the report recommended the need to: strengthen intelligence cooperation between Arab countries and external powers to ensure that proactive steps are taken to limit the occurrence of terrorist attacks; impose strict international control over the international funding of terrorist groups so that they are prevented from implementing their subversive plans; impose strict international control over the movement of weapons and equipment used by these terrorist organizations in carrying out their terrorist acts against civilians and military personnel in Arab countries; promote religious tolerance and combat hate speech; invest in programs dedicated to women’s rights and religious minorities, and to provide social services to deserving groups. All of these recommendations shall reduce the conditions that promote terrorism.