Via Intelligence Fusion Newsletter


WEEKLY

Friday 30th July 2021

Hi Dhananjaya,

Here’s your weekly rundown of the global security landscape, highlighting key incidents that have taken place from each region in the last seven days;

Intelligence Insight Weekly - What's Happening in Asia?

MIDDLE EAST & ASIA

Assam and Mizoram, India

The little-known border dispute between the Indian states of Assam and Mizoram turned bloody on 26th July when Mizo police allegedly opened fire indiscriminately with light machine guns, killing six police officers and a civilian on the Assam side and injuring dozens more. The incident marks a major escalation in the dispute which has simmered for decades but seen a number of clashes and skirmishes in recent months.

Mizoram claims territory lost to Assam in revisions to the 1873 Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act, which sought to demarcate the Lushai Hills of Mizoram and Assam’s plains of Cachar. In recent weeks, bunkers built by “trespassers” from Mizoram in the Karimganj district have sparked a large deployment of security forces by Assam, and forces from both sides have faced off around Vairengte since early July, allegedly leading to grenades being thrown at Assamese police. Mizoram has since accused Assam of instigating an economic blockade by blocking travel on NH-306 and appealed to the central government repeatedly, while Assam has warned against all travel to Mizoram due to the ongoing skirmishes. Despite the area supposedly being under the control of the Central Reserve Police Force tensions continue to run high, and the possibility of further violence either by security forces or civilian mobs is significant.

Insight Weekly - Europe Image

EUROPE

Ukraine

On 29th July 2021, police responded to two incidents of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) detonating in letterboxes in Kiev and Odessa. Available reports have not specifically pointed out whether the incidents are linked but both incidents were against similar targets and both detonated around the same time in the two different cities. This would suggest a possible link between the two incidents.

These recent incidents add an element of credibility to the regular, fake bomb threats which occur across Ukraine. Up until this week, bomb threats across Ukraine consisted almost entirely of individuals (often intoxicated) making phone calls/sending emails to police or government branches and stating bombs had been planted in multiple locations (train stations, schools, shopping centres, etc). These threats would cause minimal disruption due to police never finding any explosives.

However, these recent IED incidents will likely result in greater disruption to travel, businesses, infrastructure and services as police will likely increase the type and duration of responses to future bomb threats.

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Intelligence Insight Weekly - What's Happening in Africa?

AFRICA

Cameroon

Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP) claimed an attack on a military base in Sagme in the Far North Region of Cameroon. The attack occurred at dawn on 24th July with the attackers arriving in six vehicles and motorcycles. It also took place as most soldiers had gone on a supply mission. The attackers reportedly managed to loot weapons and military equipment.

Cameroonian vigilante and security forces have significantly curtailed Boko Haram activity since the start of 2021. However, ISWAP has conducted a number of attacks on security forces in northern Cameroon in recent weeks since the death of Abubakar Shekau in May 2021 with the group, looking to consolidate its presence, moving into the former area of operation of Boko Haram. Though ISIS released a video of Boko Haram fighters pledging allegiance to ISWAP, over 150 Boko Haram members have surrendered to security forces in northern Cameroon in recent weeks, a possible indication that there may be displeasure among Boko Haram members that have been absorbed by ISWAP.

Insight Weekly - North America Image

NORTH AMERICA

Mexico

The ongoing power struggle within the Sinaloa Cartel between Los Chapitos and “Mayo” Zambada produced three days of violence in the towns of Santa Ana and Magdalena de Kino between 24th and 26th July. While authorities issued a code red and advised citizens to stay off the streets, federal security forces finally arrived and made ten arrests, killing one suspect. Casualties between the cartel elements are unclear, although Los Chapitos gunmen are reported to have tortured and executed several members of the Mayo faction, including beheading one with a razorblade.

Clashes between the two factions have occurred repeatedly over the last few years, as four of the children of former cartel leader “El Chapo” Guzman seek to push out members of the “old guard” such as El Mayo and their uncle Aureliano Guzmán Loera, alias “El Guano”. Should they finally succeed it is likely that one of the four brothers of Los Chapitos will take over the full leadership of the cartel.

Insight Weekly - South America Image

SOUTH AMERICA

Paraguay

On 29th July, three Paraguayan soldiers were killed in an ambush on the border of the departments of San Pedro and Amambay. The attack would have involved an IED which detonated against a truck transporting the three soldiers. Additionally, a truck transporting other soldiers was shot at by the suspects, prompting soldiers to fire back. The authorities have attributed the attack to the Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP).

The EPP is a communist guerrilla group whose main activities include kidnapping and extortion for the benefit of rural and impoverished communities. However, more recently, the group has expanded into drug trafficking by allegedly serving as an armed wing for drug trafficking groups on the Brazilian border in Amambay. The group has also been accused of cultivating and trafficking their own marijuana. This most recent incident can therefore be seen as the group attempting to maintain or expand its presence in an area that is at the heart of Paraguay’s lucrative drug trade.

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THE INSIGHT: An Intelligence Fusion Video Series

A video series that takes a closer look at key incidents and events, providing you with wider analysis on security trends, evolving patterns and unexplored geopolitical themes from every corner of the globe.

LATEST EPISODE:

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In the latest episode of The Insight video series, Intelligence Fusion’s Senior Intelligence Analyst for Africa, Viraj Pattni, explains what’s happening with the Libyan civil war in 2021 and the current and future threats facing the country’s vital oil and gas industry.

Did you know…


Did you know…

… that today is National Friendship Day? Today is the day to make a new friend or reconnect with an old one. With each new friend, we expand our view of the world. Through friendships, we grow and broaden our horizons. Tell your friends how much you appreciate them!

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Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change.”

— Barbara de Angelis