With AQ’s ideologue and emir, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, announced dead on August 2, 2022, and two successive IS emirs neutralized in Syria in less than one year, the two jihadi groups faced a major blow to their organizations in 2022, particularly in terms of morale and atmosphere. However, both IS and AQ have endured and continued to function. Global Jihad was focused this year in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and especially in the African continent. During 2022, IS and AQ did not claim responsibility for any attacks in Europe or North America. However, some attacks and activities motivated by global jihad were conducted in these locations. IS clandestine activities and influence inspired terror attacks and terror plots in unusual locations, such as Israel, Lebanon, Tunisia, Iran, Indonesia, and possibly even Thailand. Some of these attacks were claimed by IS, while other attacks and activities remained unclaimed, and were presumed ideologically linked to IS. AQ influence outside the main zones of conflict remains weaker compared to IS. However, in the long run, the AQ-Taliban nexus may provide AQ with the operational space and potential opportunities it needs to regain some of its former glory.
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