Intellifusion Newsletter :5 incidents to catch up on.


Friday 19th 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

Azerbaijani and Armenian

Azerbaijani and Armenian forces clashed in several locations along the shared border in the Lake Sev area on 16th November, leading to casualties on both sides. In the days following the clashes, Armenian forces announced that 15 personnel had been killed and 12 others captured by Azerbaijani forces, whereas Azerbaijani forces have not confirmed exact figures. The brief clashes saw the use of artillery, anti-tank guided missiles and armoured vehicles and represents the largest escalation since the end of the 2020 conflict between the two states. Whilst Russian negotiators were involved in organising talks to end the clashes, the outbreak has raised questions regarding the presence of Russian peacekeepers in the area and whether or not they are able to prevent future escalations. Russian peacekeepers have set up checkpoints along the Azerbaijan-Armenia border since the 2020 conflict, but Russian peacekeeper presence in the Lake Sev area (where the clashes took place) is believed to be minimal.

NORTH AMERICA

Zapopan, Mexico

On 15th November, Rosalinda Oseguera, the wife of the leader of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes aka “El Mencho”, was arrested by the military in the Jardines de Guadalupe area of Zapopan. While not specified, the charges are most likely related to money laundering and cartel finances, of which she was in charge. The arrest is thought to be a significant blow to the financial operations of the cartel, which is regarded as one of the most powerful in Mexico and one of the most violent in the world, according to the DEA. Since October the CJNG has been the focus of a joint U.S.-Mexico “Code Black” law enforcement offensive aimed at dismantling the cartel.

The arrest of Oseguera is likely to spark retaliatory violence by the cartel, and additional troops have been deployed to the Puerta de Hierro in Zapopan to support security forces. There are also concerns that two marines kidnapped in Zapopan the same day as the arrest, while thought to be an unrelated incident, may be used by the cartel for retaliation.

EUROPE

Germany

This week has seen further developments in the certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Germany’s energy regulator Bundesnetzagentur has suspended the certification of the pipeline on the basis that Nord Stream 2 AG (the Switzerland-based, Gazprom-owned operator) will need to have a Germany-based subsidiary set up in order to be eligible to become operational. Additionally, Ukraine’s Naftogaz has also been allowed into the certification process of the pipeline but notably does not possess any veto-power for the certification of the pipeline.

These recent developments have occurred following remarks by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko which hinted at Belarus halting the supply of natural gas to Europe by shutting down pipelines which run via Belarus; as a response to EU sanctions against Belarus for its role in trafficking migrants to its border with Poland.

This decision by Germany could possibly be a tempered reaction towards Belarus’ activities by delaying Russia’s Nord Stream 2. The aim of the suspension is possibly to force Russia to pressure Belarus to cease its activities near Poland. However, given the need for natural gas in Europe, this suspension of Nord Stream 2 certification is highly likely to be very temporary.

AFRICA

Kampala, Uganda

Islamic State claimed responsibility for a double suicide bombing in the central business district of Kampala. The attacks took place within minutes of each other and were carried out by three suicide bombers. One of the attacks took place near the central police station and the second took place on a street near the parliament building. The attack near the central police station was carried out by a suicide bomber on foot and the attack near the parliament building was carried out by two suicide bombers on motorcycles. Police also claim to have thwarted an attack on a possible third target with a suspected suicide bomber disarmed and added that they believe the attacks were carried out by a domestic group allied with the ADF (Allied Democratic Forces) which predominantly operates in the Beni territory of DR Congo.

The latest terrorist attack in Kampala is the third suicide bombing and fifth terrorist attack in the country since 1st October and the number of attacks in a short space of time will be of major concern to authorities in the country and region. The latest attacks also demonstrate a level of coordination and planning not seen with other attacks since October. The successful use of a suicide bomb is also indicative of the growing proficiency in the construction of explosive devices. The ADF have increased their use of IEDs in neighbouring DR Congo since the start of this year.

SOUTH AMERICA

Magdalena, Colombia

A mayor and three customs officials have been charged with corruption due to links with a transnational drug trafficking network in Colombia’s northern department of Magdalena. An investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office revealed Mayor Luis Fernando Ramírez Algarra directed customs officials who let through shipments of drugs at the port of Santa Marta. The mayor also distributed the money he received from drug traffickers to corrupt officials. One of the arrested customs officials reportedly altered his dog’s training to have it not make an alert signal at the smell of cocaine.

In relation to this investigation police seized 9 tonnes of cocaine in Colombia and 5 tonnes in other countries, including Guatemala, Mexico, Belgium and Spain. This week Intelligence Fusion reported cocaine seizures from four boats in northern Colombia in addition to a cocaine laboratory being destroyed by security forces in Norte de Santander. The seizures were attributed to Clan del Golfo and FARC dissidents.

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.

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