Intelligence Fusion Updates 8/19/2022

 


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Friday 19th August 2022

Hi M Nuri,

 

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;

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EUROPE

Germany

On the 13th August, activists of the Ende Gelande and Extinction Rebellion environmental groups in Germany blocked the railway at Waltershofer Straße and Heykenaukamp heading into the container port of Hamburg, as well as on the Kattwyk Bridge, also heading into the port. Activists also occupied the railway near Moorburg and near Hohe-Schar-Strasse, as well as blocked the Köhlbrandbrücke. Some activists also came in reinforcement from a 2,000 strong protest march taking place in the Altona Volspark. The protests were part of coordinated actions against the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, including a new LNG terminal nearby.

 

Police used water cannons, pepper spray and batons to arrest and disperse protesters. Some initial statements by the police accused protesters of using pepper spray against police, but those statements were later brought back, and police said some of the pepper spray that affected officers may have come from other officers. Environmental activism remains a significant cause of business and supply chain disruption across Europe, with the summer months having seen several protest campaigns across Europe and the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is to be the site of an Extinction Rebellion protest campaign in September.

Intelligence Insight Weekly - What's Happening in Asia?

MIDDLE EAST & ASIA

Thailand

On Tuesday 16th August, southern separatist insurgents used IEDs to target multiple shops and fuel stations in the southern provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat. The attacks targeted branches of stores such as 7-Eleven and Mini Big C. 19 sites were targeted in the string of attacks, with local police claiming that the attacks were likely intended to undermine the local economy.

 

Also this week, an army ranger was killed in a twin IED attack at a rubber plantation in the Sungai Padi district of Narathiwat. As with the attacks targeting shops and fuel stations, the attack is believed to have been carried out by southern insurgents.

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NORTH AMERICA

Washington D.C.

On the 14th August 2022 at 0400 local time, Richard Aaron York III, aged 29, drove his car into the barricade near the US Capitol in Washington DC. The crash took place at the corner of East Capitol Street and Second Street. Moments after the crash York exited the vehicle, which had become engulfed in flames, and fired his weapon into the air. Once officers had begun approaching York, he fatally shot himself. No other injuries were sustained during the incident. The motives behind York’s actions have not been determined, however it is believed that he was not targeting any Members of Congress.

 

Since the attack on the Capitol on the 6th January 2021, security has been heightened. However, a similar attack took place in April 2021 which resulted in one officer being killed after a man, Noah Green aged 25, rammed his vehicle into a group of officers near the barricade. Green was shot and killed at the scene. Tensions, particularly regarding politics, have been high across the U.S., with the recent FBI raid on former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club last week only increasing such sentiments. On the 14th August, the same day as the Capitol incident, the FBI and the DHS issued a joint intelligence bulleting warning of a spike in threats to federal law enforcement officials and facilities online.

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SOUTH AMERICA

Colombia

Three soldiers were kidnapped between the 13th and 17th August in the Department of Arauca in Colombia. All three soldiers were kidnapped by the National Liberation Army (ELN). Two of the soldiers were kidnapped on the 13th August while returning to their military unit in Tame from their holidays. The third soldier was kidnapped while also returning from his holiday days later when ELN members set up an illegal checkpoint in the village of Flor Amarillo in the municipality of Tame. Soldiers and police officers have often been the targets of kidnapping by the ELN or FARC dissidents in the department.

 

On the 16th August, the military deployed additional air assets and drones in the municipality of Tame after learning of FARC movements and threats made to the civilian population of the village of Santo Domingo. Activity by illegal armed groups has continued in Colombia despite the recent election win of Gustavo Petro, a former M-19 guerrilla, and talks of a possibility for peace talks between the ELN and the government.

What are the prospects of peace with the ELN in Colombia? CATCH UP ON OUR VIDEO ON THE PEACE TALKS HERE

Intelligence Insight Weekly - What's Happening in Africa?

AFRICA

Algeria

At least 38 people have been killed and at least 200 others injured due to some 39 forest fires that have affected 14 provinces of Algeria. El Tarf is worst affected with 16 fires burning around the city. Hot winds could spread the fires further. Since the start of August, 106 fires have broken out in Algeria, destroying more than 2,500 hectares (6,200 acres) of woodland. The intensity of wildfires has worsened globally due to the climate crisis. However, last year, MAK, a separatist movement, and Rachad, a political movement, were blamed for being behind wildfires in Kabylia. This year, Kamel Beldjoud, the interior minister, stated that some of the fires were started by people.

 

After last year’s fires, authorities were criticised over the lack of fire-fighting aircraft. Yet steps taken to address the lack of capacity has been affected by diplomatic rows and faulty equipment. A Russian Beriev BE 200 water bomber plane suffered a breakdown and an agreement to buy seven firefighting aircraft from Spanish firm Plysa was cancelled following a diplomatic row in late June. Experts have warned that there will be a 50 percent increase in wildfires by the end of the century.

 
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Explosions in Crimea; rumours in Zhaporizhia

 

Multiple fires and explosions were reported in Russian-held Crimea this week. The blasts were reported at ammunition depots and electrical substations in Dzhankoi, and a Russian airbase in Gvardeyskoye on 16th August - with Russia saying that the explosions were the result of 'sabotage'. Late on 18th August, reports came of a further four explosions near the Belbek military airport, outside the port city of Sevastopol. Russian officials stated that they had shot down a Ukrainian drone. Further explosions at ammunition depots were reported in Russia's Belgorod Oblast near the Ukrainian border. The incidents came a week after another explosion at the Saky airbase in the city of Novofedorivka. Meanwhile, rumours continue to circulate around the Zhaporizhia nuclear power plant, with Ukrainian intelligence claiming that Russia was preparing a 'provocation' at the plant on 19th August.

 

Thank you to community members 'Montague' and 'Lukroth' for their contributions around the Crimea explosions and Zhaporizhia reports.

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