|Friday 3rd September 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;|
|MIDDLE EAST & ASIAIndonesiaFour soldiers were killed and a fifth was reported missing after they were attacked by unidentified militants in the Maybrat Regency area in West Papua. Initial reports have claimed that approximately 30 fighters armed with bladed weapons (believed to be members of the West Papuan Liberation Army) attacked the position before attacking the soldiers as they slept. The West Papua region witnesses frequent clashes between the Indonesian military and West Papuan separatist groups, however, due to the remote nature of much of the province and difficult terrain, large scale military operations are difficult. The killing of the soldiers comes a week after two construction workers were killed by separatist fighters in the Yahukimo district. SCROLL FOR AN UPDATE ON AFGHANISTAN|
|EUROPEItalyThis week has seen unsuccessful attempts to block transportation services across Italy by those opposed to mandatory vaccination regulations (known as the ‘Green Pass’ in Italy). Open-source reporting has seen attempts by those opposing mandatory vaccination to block access to train stations in order to force the Italian government to withdraw mandatory vaccination regulations for use of transport services. So far, these protests have failed but at the time of writing due to lack of turnout and large police presence at the stations. However, there have been calls to attempt this move again at major train stations throughout the country on 3rd September. Protests against mandatory vaccination have previously been quite large; involving groups such as CasaPound Italia and the IoApro Movement. These recent attempts to block train stations do not appear to have featured these groups. Should these groups become involved in attempts to block train stations, long delays to transportation between cities and clashes with police outside major train stations can be anticipated.|
|AFRICABurkina FasoGunmen suspected to be jihadists opened fire on a convoy of Iamgold Corp travelling to the Essakane gold mine in Burkina Faso’s Oudalan Province on 31st August. The attackers were reported to have opened fire on the vehicles from several hundred metres and then withdrew after a brief exchange of fire with security forces. No passengers were injured but a police officer was left wounded. The company has since suspended convoys to and from the Essakane site. Groups aligned to Al Qaeda and Islamic State are known to be active in the area.|
The security situation in Oudalan Province and the area of the three borders is likely to weaken after Chad, an important counterterrorism partner in the region, announced in mid-August the withdrawal of 600 soldiers from the G5 Sahel Force citing strategic redeployment. Chadian forces are known to have played a fundamental role in counter-terrorism operations in the Oudalan Province since their much-anticipated deployment in the first quarter of 2021.
|NORTH AMERICAUnited StatesHurricane Ida made landfall on 29th August in Louisiana. At least 46 people have died amid unprecedented rainfall across the eastern seaboard of the United States linked to Hurricane Ida. Severe and widespread flooding has particularly affected New York City and Philadelphia with fatalities confirmed across Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Approximately eight tornadoes were also reported across the northeast with President Biden warning that: “the climate crisis is here”.|
Hurricane Ida has also been confirmed as a tie for the fifth strongest hurricane ever recorded in the United States. Hurricane Ida initially made landfall in Louisiana on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with approximately 900,000 people affected by power outages across Louisiana and Mississippi. The extreme weather event is likely to fuel climate change debate across the United States and internationally ahead of the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow on 31st October. People and businesses should be aware of the potential for disruptive and/ or violent protests linked to climate change.
|SOUTH AMERICASão Paulo, BrazilJust after midnight on Monday, a series of explosions woke up the residents of Araçatuba, a city located in the state of São Paulo. The explosions were caused by a group of approximately 50 heavily armed men who robbed five banks in the city centre. Several people were taken hostage, including at least five people who were used as human shields after being tied to escape vehicles. The perpetrators left behind caltrops and at least 14 IEDs to hinder the advances of police. Furthermore, they torched multiple vehicles to block their escape route and used commercial drones to monitor it all. A bystander was killed when he tried to film the incident and at least four other civilians were injured, one of whom lost both of his feet when he cycled past one of the IEDs. One of the suspects was killed in a shootout with police and two others have been arrested so far. It remains unclear whether the suspects are linked to a known criminal group.|
Although the criminal’s level of sophistication is impressive, their methods are not entirely new. In just over a year, five similar bank heists took place across the interior of São Paulo. A state where organised crime continues to have a strong presence. SEE INCIDENTS LIKE THIS EARLIER ON OUR TWITTER
|THE ROUNDTABLE: An Intelligence Fusion Podcast The Roundtable, a new podcast from Intelligence Fusion, gathers our Regional Analysts to provide a deeper insight into the global threat intelligence picture around the world.|
|Join our Analysts Max Taylor, Viraj Pattni and Vincent Fevrier for the first episode of our new podcast series where they take a look at the different ways in which armed groups use extractive resources to fund themselves. Find the first episode on your favourite podcast app.|
|What’s happening in Afghanistan? After negotiations between the Taliban and anti-Taliban militia leaders stalled, fighting intensified around Panjshir Province.|
|Anti-Taliban militia current control much of the province as well as key chokepoints at the entrance to the Panjshir Valley, leading to heavy fighting in areas such as Shotul, the Khawak Pass and the Gulbahar areas. Anti-Taliban militia appear to lack large amounts heavy weaponry but have published video of a MLRS system deployed during recent fighting. Fighting has also spread north from Panjshir into neighbouring Baghlan, with unconfirmed reports claiming that local level commanders who recently joined the Taliban now defecting away from the Taliban. Reports of defections have not been confirmed, and the scale of the alleged defections remains unclear. As we continue to monitor the fast-changing situation in Afghanistan, we’ll be posting regular updates across our social media channels.|