Intellifusion NEwsletter and 5 Incidents to catch up on.


Friday 12th November 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

Iraq

Three small drones carrying explosives targeted the house of the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in central Baghdad on Sunday, wounding six bodyguards. It is currently not clear who carried out the attack, but unnamed Iraqi security officials have claimed that the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah and Asaib Ahl al-Haq militias carried out the attack. Since election results were announced, supporters of Iran-backed parties and groups have carried out sit-ins outside of the entrances to the ‘Green Zone,’ refusing to accept the outcome of the elections. Fearing further escalation between groups, security forces are reported to have been deployed on streets across Baghdad with additional checkpoints hoping to prevent clashes between rival supporters of political groups.

NORTH AMERICA

Michoacán, Mexico

On 6th November, the dismembered bodies of seven individuals were found inside a taxi at the intersection of Cuauhtemoc Norte and Leona Vicario streets. A piece of cardboard with a threatening message written on it was left with the bodies.

Investigators currently believe members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) were responsible for the murders and that the victims were members of a rival group.

The CJNG has a heavy presence in the region and was recently involved in an attack in Villa Victoria, where members drove into the town in armoured vehicles and shot at homes and vehicles before clashing with soldiers. A short time later, the CJNG were also implicated in another outbreak of violence against local residents and soldiers in Taixtán.

According to some sources, the Mexican army largely has a pact of “non-aggression” with cartels in the region, with soldiers increasingly guarding lines dividing cartel territories to prevent them encroaching on each other’s land rather than directly attacking them. The aim of the strategy appears to be to prevent cartel violence spreading further outside of such areas, although the effectiveness of this is questionable given the large number of residents displaced from the region.

EUROPE

Poland and Belarus

Reporting over this week has shown the crisis along the Poland-Belarus border is spilling over into business sectors. For the past two months, reports have continued to indicate the Belarusian government has been receiving large numbers of migrants from the Middle East and Africa then moving them to the western border with Poland. The assessed intent is to pressure the EU to remove sanctions on the Belarusian government through creating an additional route for human trafficking into Europe.

Poland has deployed large numbers of military, police and border guards to its border in order to stop the large numbers of illegal immigrants. The border crossing at Kuznica has had to close down due to large numbers of migrants trying to cross which has led to trucks being unable to enter/exit Poland. Border crossings elsewhere are highly likely to be implementing increased security measures which means increased delays when crossing borders. Such measures are also being implemented along the Lithuanian and Ukrainian borders with Belarus; making any transit through Eastern Europe at the moment increasingly difficult.

Furthermore, the EU appears to be considering implementing sanctions against businesses suspected to be assisting the Belarusian government with what appears to be state-sponsored human trafficking; among these businesses is Russian aviation firm Aeroflot. The current border crisis appears to be causing more than border closures at this time; it appears to be causing increased security measures – and thus transit delays – at borders in Eastern Europe and will potentially see sanctions on businesses with links/interests to Belarus.

AFRICA

Buea, Cameroon

On 10th November, a homemade explosive device was thrown through the roof of a lecture hall at the University of Buea in Southwest Cameroon. The device detonated when it hit the ground, and one male student and 10 female students were wounded. The wounded were taken to the hospital for treatment, and they are in stable conditions. While the attack has not been claimed, separatists from the English-speaking region have previously targeted educational institutions they claim favours French-language education.

This is the second incident of an explosive detonation in Buea after a taxi driver was killed on 8th November after an IED detonated inside his vehicle after having been placed by a separatist fighter posing as passenger. The attack was claimed by the Buea Ghost separatist group, who claimed the driver had not respected their travel restrictions they’ve imposed in the area.

Buea is the capital of the Southwest region of the country and along with the Northwest region, is primarily English-speaking. The area has been home to fighting between secessionist fighters from the English-speaking regions against the government’s armed forces from the French speaking majority.

SOUTH AMERICA

Antioquia, Colombia

On 7th November, four soldiers of the Colombian Army were killed in an ambush in the municipality of Ituango in the north of the department of Antioquia. The ambush involved the use of explosive devices and gunfire. The attack has been attributed to the Clan del Golfo, who are one of the groups operating in the department, along with the ELN and FARC dissidents.

The attack has been one of several since the start of the month, after the head of the Clan del Golfo, Dairo Antonio Usuga David, alias Otoniel, was captured in a military operation in late October. Otoniel is wanted in the United States in relation to drug trafficking. The day before the ambush, a skirmish had already taken place between Clan del Golfo members and the Army in the municipality of Valdivia. Three members of the armed group were killed in that skirmish.

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