INTELLIGENCE FUSION newsletter – 5 Incidents


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Friday 22nd April 2022

Hi Dhananjay,

Here’s your weekly rundown of the global security landscape, highlighting key incidents that have taken place in each region in the last seven days;

Intelligence Insight Weekly - What's Happening in Asia?

MIDDLE EAST & ASIA

Israel

Tensions and violence, which broke late last week, continued throughout this week at the Al-Aqsa Compound, also known as the Temple Mount by Jews. The site is holy in both Judaism and Islam. Late last week saw over a hundred injured during clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians, in which rubber bullets, stun grenades, and baton charges took place against the throwing of rocks and firecrackers. Violence continued throughout this week, but with lower numbers of casualties. The tensions coincide with the Jewish Passover celebrations and the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Tensions are said to have broken out not only due to both major religious holidays falling around the same time but also due to a series of attacks against Israelis that took place in March. Authorities are worried that continued tensions could lead to a much larger conflict, as it has in the past. On the evening of the 20th, a march was launched from Safra Square in Jerusalem to the Old City. The march was organised by MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, a leader within the far-right party of Otzma Yehudit. Ben-Gvir was barred from marching to the Damascus Gate to avoid provocation, with Hamas warning of retaliation for the march, but the march still took place. On the same night, at least one rocket was fired toward Sderot in Israel, with a home being damaged. The incident led to a retaliatory airstrike by Israel in Gaza. Previous clashes at the compound in 2021 had led to an 11-day war between Hamas and the Israeli military, leading to hundreds injured.

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NORTH AMERICA

Arizona, United States

On the 18th April, a wildfire was reported in Crooks Canyon, Arizona and within 24 hours had consumed over 750 acres. The rugged topography, combined with wind speed and strength is making firefighting efforts difficult, resulting in a further 2,000 acres engulfed. Firefighters in a joint operation are using land and air methods to increase control over the fire. The location of the fire is 11 miles south of Prescott City with a population estimated around 42,785. Those in the immediate area, and within close proximity that reside in Prescott have been evacuated to a place of safety.

Firefighters are working around the clock to extinguish the fire and are working in shifts in different sections of the Canyon. Reports suggest that the wildfire is less likely to spread over the next 24 hours and may provide an advantage to begin significantly controlling the spread of the fire.

This week has also seen three separate wildfires within the southwest of the United States and a second in Arizona. It is likely that as temperatures increase more wildfires will ignite, resulting in further evacuations and resources becoming stretched. With appropriately 26 firetrucks, helicopters and other equipment utilised in Crooks Canyon, effective resource management is crucial to avoid a depletion of available resources amid the oncoming wildfire season. If wildfires reach residential areas this is likely to impact business, and delays in supply chains are probable.

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EUROPE

Poland/Belarus Border

Human trafficking and illegal immigration have long been a significant problem for Europe. Numerous routes already exist for people smugglers to bring illegal migrants into the continent (the Canary Islands, Mediterranean Sea, Aegean Sea and the Balkan route). Seasonal conditions will usually dictate the quantity of people wanting to migrate to Europe illegally, with the approaching Summer being the ideal time for migrants to attempt crossings which can be fatal. For this coming summer there is potential for this problem to worsen. From September 2021, Belarus began accepting migrants from the Middle East and Africa for the purpose of pushing them into Poland in order to exert pressure on the EU for its sanctions on the Belarusian government. Many of these incidents included Belarusian soldiers attempting to hinder the efforts of Polish Border Guards in apprehending any migrants which crossed the border.

This state-sponsored human trafficking has since created a new route into Europe for people smugglers and migrants. Additionally, Belarus is a key Russian ally in its invasion of Ukraine; providing bases and lines of communication for Russian forces invading Ukraine. This summer will be the first for this new migration route and as the war in Ukraine continues, could provide a means for Belarus and Russia to exert pressure on Poland and other NATO countries without overtly attacking them. It is possible that in the coming weeks, human trafficking and illegal immigration won’t just increase along the ususal routes, but could see the Poland/Belarus border become an increasing problem as a newly established route which also provides Russia and Belarus a means to pressure NATO countries. This route may see an influx of migrants who will likely be assisted by Belarusian forces when attempting to cross into Poland.

Intelligence Insight Weekly - What's Happening in Africa?

AFRICA

Libya

Protesters demanding the resignation of Libyan prime minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, disrupted production at the El Feel oil field in southern Libya forcing the National Oil Corporation (NOC) to declare a force majeure on production at the field as well as exports of Mellitah crude until further notice. A force majeure was also declared at the Zueitina terminal where protesters demanded the resignation of the head of the NOC, Mustafa Sanallah and Dbeibah. Further protests forced the NOC to declare force majeure at the Sharara oil field and Brega oil terminal with workers at oil fields and gas-oil separation plants (GOSPs) associated with the Zueitina and Brega terminals, forced to gradually shut down production.

The closures have resulted in a drop in oil production to 800,000 BPD. The NOC has also warned of damage to wells, reservoirs and equipment as a result of the disruption. In the eastern region, there are also implications for the electricity supply and the production of cooking gas. Meanwhile, concerns over the global oil supply have led to oil prices rising by 1%. The closures of oil fields and terminals mark another escalation of the political crisis in Libya. Fears of prolonged fighting over territory have been rising in Libya, including Tripoli since the parliament in the east swore in a new administration headed by Fathi Bashaga.

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SOUTH AMERICA

Colombia

Between Sunday night and Monday morning, around 30 heavily armed suspects attempted to rob a cash-in-transit company in Brazil’s southern city of Guarapuava.

Simultaneously, the suspects torched two vehicles outside the city’s military police station to prevent a response from security forces. Three residents were taken hostage and ordered to stand in the middle of the street as human shields. Authorities claim the security forces did not immediately engage the suspects due to the risk to the population and instead, attempted to close access routes to the city. After several hours of gunfire, the suspects finally escaped towards the city’s airport, where four escape vehicles were torched and used as roadblocks. Two police officers and a civilian were shot and injured during the incident. The city has since been swarming with police, with 260 officers reportedly searching for the suspects, who are currently believed to be hiding out in forests in the district of Palmeirinha.

Large scale robberies with similar modus operandi are frequently reported in Brazil and often involve powerful criminal organisations, such as the First Capital Command (PCC) and the Red Command (CV).

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1 dead and 1 injured after a double stabbing incident in Manchester, UK

The incident occurred on Pollard Street, close to Manchester city centre. A suspect turned up in hospital overnight with injuries and was arrested on suspicion of murder. Police have advised that there is currently a no wider threat to the community.

This incident was reported as breaking news by our OSINT Community member, ‘SAINT Sentinel’ and was swiftly reported on our platform to alert our clients.