Intelligence Fusion Newsletter


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Friday 4th March 2022

Hi Dhananjay,

In light of recent events, and before we jump into your weekly rundown of the global security landscape from the last seven days, we wanted to make you aware of our new daily intelligence summaries covering the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Every day at 1100hrs GMT, we’ll be circulating an overview of the last 24 hours – what’s happened and what it means. Our free assessment will be supported by imagery of the most recent geolocated incidents from our platform.

Keep track of what’s happening in Ukraine with verified, reliable intelligence.

Intelligence Insight Weekly - What's Happening in Asia?

MIDDLE EAST & ASIA

Afghanistan

The Taliban have continued a large operation in Kabul in which multiple houses have been raided by Taliban fighters, with multiple photos and videos posted on social media showing damaged properties following raids. The Taliban have claimed that the raids are targeting criminals such as kidnappers and thieves but residents of the city have claimed that the Taliban are searching for former government and military personnel. Multiple arrests have been reported, with the whereabouts of detainees being unknown in many cases.

Whilst the Taliban have not themselves linked the raids with anti-Taliban militia activities, the raids have taken place at a time when the Taliban are attempting to crack down on anti-Taliban militias as well as IS cells who operate in Kabul. Anti-Taliban forces such as the National Resistance Front (NRF) are reported to have increased activity in the Panjshir Valley area in recent weeks, with clashes also reported in provinces such as Baghlan and Daikundi. Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, NRF activity has been relatively limited and with reports of Taliban patrols being ambushed and skirmishes in remote valleys, but fighting is expected to increase throughout the spring as weather conditions improve.

Insight Weekly - North America Image

NORTH AMERICA

Michoacan, Mexico

On the 27th February, a group of gunmen reportedly abducted a group of at least 17 individuals attending a wake and lined them up against a wall outside in the town of San Jose de Gracia in the state of Michoacan. There are then reports of gunfire being heard at the scene. The suspects are said to have cleaned the scene afterwards, taking bodies with them. Despite a lack of bodies at the scene, authorities assume that all the victims were killed and are working to confirm it. What was found at the scene was a bag with shell casings and some body parts.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, the wake was for the mother of a hitman, alias El Pelon, and it is this hitman who the suspects arrived to kill. The suspects, led by alias El Toro, and the victims reportedly both belong to factions of hitmen of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), and they had previously been involved in a dispute which led to the shooting over the weekend. Authorities are continuing to investigate the crime. The CJNG is considered one of the most powerful cartels in Mexico and is currently in conflicts across several states of Mexico with other cartels for control of the drug trade and other criminal enterprises.

Insight Weekly - Europe Image

EUROPE

Belarus

Monitoring of the Russia-Ukraine war has featured numerous reports of Belarusian involvement; from the conduct of Exercise Allied Resolve to its current use as a staging area for Russian Ground Forces and Aerospace Forces. Its involvement in assisting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also seen it targeted with additional sanctions and commercial boycotts.

The significance of these actions is what could begin to occur as a response from Belarus; an increase in the state-sponsored human trafficking which began last year along its border with Poland. The trafficking began as a response to sanctions against Belarus following the controversial re-election of Alexander Lukashenko.

Reports over the last few months indicate the trafficking has decreased. However, over the last 48 hours, there have been multiple attempts by migrants from Africa and the Middle East to cross into Poland from Belarus. One of these incidents featured assistance from Belarusian forces.

With recent efforts to sanction and boycott Belarus for its involvement in the Russia-Ukraine invasion, the Belarusian government could possibly resume the high level of human trafficking of migrants into Poland as a response. With the current humanitarian situation from the Russia-Ukraine War, this could place immense pressure on border security in Poland and increase the issue of human trafficking across Europe.

Intelligence Insight Weekly - What's Happening in Africa?

AFRICA

South Africa

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated four Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and ISIS Mozambique financial facilitators based in South Africa. Farhad Hoomer who led an ISIS cell in Durban; Siraaj Miller, who leads a Cape Town-based group of ISIS supporters; Abdella Hussein Abadigga and Peter Charles Mbaga have been sanctioned.

The South African government has been aware of the country being used as a logistics hub, however there have been concerns that the group could exploit poor socio-economic conditions in South Africa to begin operations in the country. Farhad Hoomer was arrested in Durban in 2018, at his property he used as a training facility and planned attacks in Durban, while Mbaga sought to procure weapons from Mozambique. ISIS in Mozambique have also threatened attacks in South Africa in recent years due to its involvement in the SADC mission in the country and it is likely the group will create cells to carry out attacks in South Africa like Al Shabaab have in Kenya following the country’s operations against the group in Somalia.

Insight Weekly - South America Image

SOUTH AMERICA

La Araucania, Chile

On the 2nd March, a group of approximately 10 armed men attacked a forestry property located between Angol and Los Sauces in the region of La Araucania. The forestry property is operated by CMPC, and an employee is reported to have been beaten and shot in the leg during the incident. Two pieces of machinery, a truck and a four-wheeler were set on fire by the suspects. The police were alerted and engaged the suspects in a shootout, causing the suspects to flee the scene, with no arrests being made. The wounded employee was taken to the hospital for treatment. The attack comes days after four pieces of machinery were set on fire at another forestry property in Nueva Imperial in the region of La Araucania. That attack was claimed by the ORT Lafkenche group.

While no group has claimed the attack, the attack was likely committed by Mapuche militants operating in the region. The regions of La Araucania and Bio Bio in southern Chile have been significantly impacted by Mapuche militants in recent years, with targets of the group including forestry properties, construction companies and tourist cabins. The primary method of attack has been arson, but gunfire and the rare use of explosives have also been recorded. These attacks are likely to continue in the near future.

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Once again our open source intelligence community members have been sharing regular updates from the war in Ukraine, including developing incidents on the ground, wider geopolitical events, fact checking and geolocation.

Thanks to our Discord community members who have been sharing the latest developments from the conflict, in particular users ‘Lukroth’, ‘cognitivedissident’, ‘IAnalyseData’, ‘Fairbright’, ‘helix’, ‘DDale’, and ‘M.’.