Newsletter: Intellifusion: 5 Incidents to catch up on


Friday 29th October 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 & ASIA

China

7 people were stabbed and killed during an incident in the Xiaosixiang area of Wuhan. The suspect first killed five members of a family, including a local party chief before killing a bystander and a taxi driver as he escaped from the scene. The reason for the attack is not clear and police are unsure if the suspect survived after jumping into the Yangtze River during his escape. However, the death of the local party chief in the attack suggests that the incident may have been related to a local political issue or dispute involving the attacker. Despite reports of crime in China being poor and inconsistent, stabbing attacks have occurred at various locations across the country, often taking place in schools. Attacks are generally related to local level issues or personal disputes rather than being terror-related.

NORTH AMERICA

Canada

Environmental activists planned a ‘Day of Action’ on 29th October targeting Royal Bank of Canada branches across the nation, with cities affected including Ottawa, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax. The Royal Bank of Canada was targeted due to its investments in the fossil fuel industry, which climate activists demanded be ended. The protests also were timed only a few days before the start of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, which is seen as a key opportunity for nations to agree on an actionable plan to reduce emissions and limit the effects of climate change.

EUROPE

Scotland and Italy

This weekend will feature the COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland alongside the G20 leaders summit in Rome. Reporting indicates climate change activist groups intend to carry out numerous protests (Glasgow especially) in the lead up to and during these events. While these activist groups will often turn up in large numbers to such events, recent flooding in Sicily and South East Scotland/North West England will likely be used to amplify their rhetoric of a global climate emergency which can increase the motivation of protesters to carry out direct action protests.

In both locations, significant security preparations are underway by police; reporting on preparations in Rome indicates a significant security presence around Eur district. Such preparations would also appear to be in anticipation of the weekly protests against mandatory vaccination attempting to protest in Eur district rather than at Piazza del Popolo (recent protests in this location became a riot across numerous locations in Rome).

Overall, these upcoming meetings in Glasgow and Rome are likely to occur in an environment where the chances of unrest are high. Both cities will certainly see a heightened police presence and large numbers of climate change activists who are likely to have increased motivations to protest and carry out direct actions. Adding the recent – and in some cases ongoing – protests against mandatory vaccination, the chances for unrest at these conferences are high.

AFRICA

Sudan

Sudan’s military dissolved the transitional cabinet and the Sudan Sovereign Council and declared a state of emergency. Several senior government officials including President Abdalla Hamdok and civilian members of the Sovereign Council were detained. In response to the coup, large numbers of people took part in pro-democracy protests in several cities including Khartoum where protesters gathered in areas including the army headquarters and barricaded roads. The army used live rounds to disperse protesters and gangs of young men armed with sticks have also attacked protesters. At least 11 have been killed and protest organisers have called for a ‘million-man march’ protest on 30th October.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who led the coup, justified the coup on grounds that political infighting had threatened the country’s stability. General al-Burhan, who has longstanding ties with Egypt’s President Sisi, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, has said the military will complete the democratic transition. However, questions have been raised as to how the military will achieve this as it has suspended several articles of the constitution including those that relate to the formation of the Transitional Sovereign Council and the formation of the transitional cabinet. 

Socio-economic conditions have rapidly deteriorated in Sudan in the past year. While a state of economic emergency was declared due to increasing inflation and currency depreciation, recent floods, fuel shortages, the coronavirus pandemic and protests at Port Sudan had aggravated the crisis.

SOUTH AMERICA

Columbia

On 23rd October, the head of Clan del Golfo, one of Colombia’s largest armed groups, was arrested in rural Necoclí. Dairo Antonio Usuga, better known as ‘Otoniel’, was captured in an operation that involved 500 Colombian special forces assisted by American and British intelligence. Otoniel has been accused of exporting hundreds of tonnes of cocaine each year and is being held responsible for the deaths of over 200 members of Colombia’s security forces.

Although Otoniel’s arrest is unlikely to have a significant impact on Clan del Golfo’s operations, mainly consisting of drug trafficking and illegal mining, his capture may cause the group to further fragment into independent factions. In fact, Colombian police claim that the information that led to Otoniel’s capture came from within his own organisation. A man known as ‘Chiquito Malo’ is expected to become the group’s new leader. However, it remains unclear for how long he will be able to maintain central leadership.

Intelligence Fusion has already reported three attacks on Colombian soldiers in the department of Antioquia, an area that is most at risk of retaliatory attacks and possible infighting. Colombia’s national police claim Clan del Golfo only counts some 3,800 members. However, other sources state far greater numbers, including the NGO Corpades, which estimates the group’s cells could include 12,000 members across the country.

Head over to our Intelligence Community and share any other incidents that caught your eye this week, or join in the discussion with our community members – made up of likeminded OSINT enthusiasts and security professionals.