Newsletter: Intelligence Fusion…

Friday 27th August 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 & ASIAAzerbaijan and ArmeniaTensions have grown between Armenia and Azerbaijan in recent weeks due to a series of confrontations on the shared border. On the 24th August, Armenian forces claimed that Azerbaijani forces fired at buildings in the Shushi area. On the 26th August, Azerbaijani forces claimed that their personnel were fired at by Armenian personnel in the Tovuz region, No casualties were reported in either incident. In a separate incident, Azerbaijani forces are reported to have blocked a section of road between Shurnukh and Kamrakar along the border. Following open conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia in September 2020, clashes between the two sides have been rare along the border compared to pre-September rates. However, recent weeks have seen an uptick in reports of small clashes along the border, potentially threatening to draw both sides into a broader conflict if left unchecked. SCROLL FOR AN UPDATE ON AFGHANISTAN  
Insight Weekly - Europe Image
EUROPELondon, United KingdomOn the 23rd August, Extinction Rebellion launched its two weeks of protest actions in the United Kingdom. The early days of the protests saw several roads blocked by handmade structures the groups had made, as well as by protesters locking themselves together using chains and PVC pipes. Additionally, some businesses such as Selfridges and McDonald’s have been targeted by either Extinction Rebellion or its affiliate Animal Rebellion, through direct action including gluing themselves to windows. Hundreds of arrests have been made across the first few days. While so far, most of the activities have taken place in central London around Westminster, Covent Garden, and Soho, some activities have taken place around City of London with more being planned according to social media posts by the group. Primary targets for the group over the last few years have included oil and gas companies, banks and insurance companies, but additional businesses perceived to be contributing to climate change or linked to businesses in the previous three industries could face protests of their own. Significant disruption is almost certain to continue for the duration of the announced protests. Protests in the United Kingdom by Extinction Rebellion are not the only ones taking place by the group around Europe, with the group conducting the ‘Nordic Rebellion’ in Norway, with protests targeting Equinor and Lundin Energy among other targets to demand the country step back from new oil and gas projects. Additionally, some protests by the group have been reported in the Netherlands, with the group blocking access to a Royal Dutch Shell refinery near Rotterdam on the 25th August. The ‘Nordic Rebellion’ is planned to go through the 29th August, therefore, additional disruptions to businesses is likely, particularly in and around Oslo which has been the centre of those protests.
Intelligence Insight Weekly - What's Happening in Africa?
AFRICAPlateau State, NigeriaThe Governor of Plateau State imposed a 24-hour curfew in Jos North LGA (local government area) after unidentified individuals attacked Yelwan Zangam, a village inhabited by the Anaguta ethnic group. At least 30 people were killed during the attack and houses were set alight. Community leaders claim as many as 37 people were killed. Security sources say the attack was carefully planned with the attackers destroying a bridge linking the community to prevent security forces from responding to the attack. At least 10 people have been arrested in connection with the attack. Senior Fulani leaders deny that herders were behind the attack, which may also be related to a land dispute between residents of Yelwan Zangam and a neighbouring community, Yelwan Mista Bow.
There have been several cases of inter-communal violence since the start of August in Jos North LGA. The latest attack takes place less than a fortnight after gunmen suspected to be from the Irigwe ethnic group, a predominantly Christian ethnic group, ambushed a convoy of Muslim pilgrims, triggering ethnic violence in Jos North LGA. There was also fighting, and cases of arson attacks possibly linked to fighting/inter-communal tension, between Hausa and Anaguta communities in Jos North LGA in early August, which required security forces to intervene to prevent the situation from escalating.
Insight Weekly - North America Image
NORTH AMERICAState of Zacatecas, MexicoAt least 11 people were killed in a wave of violence in the state of Zacatecas between the 24th and 25th August. At least three of the 11 were State Police officers who were killed while traveling between Jerez, Fresnillo and Valparaiso municipalities. The other eight victims were civilians killed in the municipalities of Fresnillo, Zacatecas and Morelos. The wave of violence was said to have been caused by a clash between members of the Sinaloa Cartel (CDS) and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).
The state has seen an increase of violence in the last two years due to cartel conflicts over drug production and trafficking, with the municipality of Fresnillo considered one of the 10 localities with the highest perception of insecurity in Mexico. Insecurity in the state is significant for several industries, especially mining
Insight Weekly - South America Image
SOUTH AMERICABrasilia, BrazilOn Sunday, thousands of indigenous protesters set up camp in the vicinity of the Esplanade of the Ministries in central Brasilia, and on Monday protested the Bolsonaro administration and its policies that would impact indigenous lands. Additional protests were held on Tuesday and Wednesday to put pressure on the Supreme Court not to vote in favour of a cut-off date of 1988 for indigenous groups’ land claims. There are reports that some 300 claims are at risk if the court ruled against indigenous groups. The farming sector, among others, is in favour of the cut-off date, as it would also agricultural expansion on previously protected lands. Some protests were held by farmers in states like Bahia and Rio Grande do Sul in favour of the cut-off date. While the Supreme Court was meant to make a decision on the 25th August, the decision has now been postponed until the 1st September. Continued protests by indigenous groups in are likely to continue in Brasilia until the decision is made.
🚨🚨🚨 What’s happening in Afghanistan? On the 26th August, two bombings took place at Hamid Karzai International Airport at Abbey Gate and close to the nearby Baron Hotel. Casualty figures from the blast are estimated to be approximately 60 dead and 200 wounded. Islamic State – Khorosan Province (IS-KP) claimed responsibility for the bombings shortly afterwards, posting an image of one of the suicide bombers involved in the attack. Despite the attack, large crowds of people have been seen at Abbey Gate on the morning of the 27th August.
Despite the majority of the casualties from the attacks being civilians, IS-KP claimed that they targeted US and Taliban members at the airport. The attack also highlights that the IS-KP group continues to possess the capacity to carry out attacks against civilian targets in Kabul via a network of cells, despite their lack of physical territorial control in Afghanistan. Commanders at the airport are reported to be expecting additional attacks from IS-KP as the group seeks to undermine Taliban legitimacy as security providers. As we continue to monitor the fast-changing situation in Afghanistan, we’ll be posting regular updates across our social media channels. We recently shared a breakdown of the developments we’d witnessed in the first seven days after the Taliban took Kabul. We’ll be updating this soon, but to provide you with a concise overview of the situation, you can read the full report on our blog. 
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