Intelligence Fusion Newsletter 9/23/2022

 

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Friday 23rd September 2022


 

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;

Insight Weekly - North America Image

NORTH AMERICA

Atlantic and Caribbean

On 18th September 2022, Hurricane Fiona made landfall in Punta Tocon, Puerto Rico causing high speed winds, and severely heavy rainfall. An island-wide state of emergency was declared following 1.3 million homes being left without power, along with significant flash flooding in several towns leading to mass evacuations. Extensive electrical system damage, combined with unsafe and dangerous conditions continues to hinder repair response, with power companies estimating several days before attempts can be made.

 

On 19th September 2022, Hurricane Fiona also made landfall in Boda de Yuma, Dominican Republic, with 95 mph wind speeds and excessive rainfall. Temporary bans have been placed on beaches and 800 people residing near rivers and ravines have been evacuated due to the Rio Yuma overflowing. Those residing in low risk areas are being advised to stay indoors due to road obstructions from mudslides, heavy flooding and fallen trees.

 

Isolated towns are likely to leave residents without access to effective communication, and limits evacuation success. Affected transportation channels, such as flooded airports, train stations and road obstructions are also likely to hinder internal and external emergency response and may leave communities without essential aid for a prolonged period. Replenishing essential resources such as medical, food and power is likely to be timely, and with waterlogged farming land, short and long term food supplies are likely to be hindered.

 

Over the course of the coming week, Hurricane Fiona is forecasted to hit Turks and Caicos, Bahamas and west of Bermuda. The hurricane strength is projected to intensify as it passes over the Atlantic Ocean, increasing from Category 2 to 3 or 4.

Intelligence Insight Weekly - What's Happening in Asia?

MIDDLE EAST & ASIA

Iran

Major protest broke out in Iran following the death of a female student whilst in the custody of Iran's religious police. Protests initially centred around cities in the Kurdistan region of Iran, where women burnt Hijabs to protest against the hardliner social policies of the Iranian government. Protests quickly spread to other cities, with other long term issues such as economic stagnation and mismanagement swelling the number of people seen at the protests. In the majority of cases, security forces attempted to disperse protesters with tear gas and riot control techniques. Multiple instances of security forces firing live rounds at protests have also been reported, and such instances are believed to be responsible for the majority of casualties reported so far.

 

At the time of writing, the Iranian government has shut off internet in areas across the country in order to prevent protesters from coordinating and to cover up violent crack downs on gatherings. Protests will likely carry on despite the internet shutdowns, but the violent crackdown from security forces has in the past effectively suppressed large scale anti-government protest. Whilst there are numerous similarities between the ongoing protests and previous events such as unrest seen in November 2019, the current protests appear to be taking a more confrontational stance towards security forces. With this in mind, despite attempts to supress the demonstrations, long term socio-economic grievances which have persisted since the unrest in 2019 may add additional impetus to the protests.

Insight Weekly - Europe Image

EUROPE

Italy

On 23rd September 2022, climate change activist groups around Europe will carry out their annual Global Climate Strike. These protests will usually consist of large gatherings, marches and incidents of direct actions (vandalism and road blocks especially) targeting businesses involved in or linked to the mining, oil, gas and energy industries. These protests have become more radical in recent years with activists across Europe engaging in the targeting of oil depots, blocking traffic and glueing themselves to landmarks/artwork. With the cuts to natural gas supply by Russia in response to sanctions, activists have become more vocal in calling for the imposition of renewable energy policies despite costs, flaws and controversies surrounding renewable energy capabilities.

 

While protests are to occur across Europe, a vast number of protests are planned across Italy on 23rd September by Fridays for Future; the group best known for its founder Great Thunberg. Protests have been announced in over 70 cities and will occur two days before Italy's general election. While pages advertising the protests state the events will occur on 23rd, it is possible there will be follow up actions on 24th-25th September 2022, with possible disruptions to general traffic and possible direct actions against parties which do not agree with the climate change agenda.

Insight Weekly - South America Image

SOUTH AMERICA

Colombia

Colombia’s new government is actively pursuing what President Gustavo Petro calls “total peace.” Besides keeping the president’s campaign promise of resuming peace talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN), government representatives have been reaching out to armed groups across Colombia. This includes the large paramilitary forces of Clan del Golfo, armed groups that grew out of the former FARC guerillas, but also many smaller criminal gangs, which have been offered reduced sentences in exchange for their surrender.

 

The new peace talks have already let to some unilateral ceasefires as signs of good will, according to the NGO INDEPAZ. However, most negotiations have not reached this stage yet and there are still regular clashes between security forces and armed groups. In the northern departments of Arauca and North Santander, Colombian soldiers were killed in three separate attacks by the ELN this month. Meanwhile in the south of the country, FARC dissidents have clashed with security forces, members of the ELN, and even with other factions of FARC dissidents.

 

While Gustavo Petro is taking on the daunting task to achieve total peace, he appears to take on an even greater challenge by pushing for a new multilateral approach to drug policy, stating, “the war on drugs has failed” at the UN General Assembly.

Intelligence Insight Weekly - What's Happening in Africa?

AFRICA

Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Congolese armed forces (FARDC) have said further reinforcements are expected in Kwamouth territory in Mai-Ndombe Province, in an attempt to quell violence between the Teke and Yaka communities. A force of about 200 soldiers had previously been sent but failed to restore order. The conflict has caused more than 12,000 to flee with just over 4,000 IDPs having taken refuge in Kwilu Province.

 

Some 80 people have been killed but in a recent attack, but the death toll is likely to be much higher. In one attack in Fadiaka village on 13th September, as many as 100 are reported to have been killed. Influential local figures such as village chiefs are among those killed since the conflict began. Soldiers and police officers have also been attacked during attempts to disarm combatants.

 

Conflict between the two communities began in late July over a disagreement on customary dues. Members of the Teke community oppose the Yaka for having installed a customary chief, replacing an indigenous Teke, and taking hostage two police officers who had been sent to restore order.

 
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Police call for calm amid sectarian disorder in Leicester, UK

 

Violent clashes between groups of mainly Hindu and Muslim young men broke out in Leicester last weekend, the culmination of several weeks of tension between parts of the city's South Asian communities. Footage from the evening of Saturday 17th September shows police, some with dogs, attempting to hold back two sets of crowds as objects including glass bottles are thrown, while some members of the crowd also carry sticks and batons

 

Initial tensions are reported to have been heightened by a cricket match between India and Pakistan at the end of August, with videos circulated online of vandalism outside a Hindu temple further aggravating the situation. The spark point is said to have been an unauthorised protest march on the afternoon of Saturday 17th September by Hindu men, while demonstrations also took place on Sunday 18th in response to the march. A total of 47 people have been arrested, 20 at the weekend.

 

An independent review into the situation has been announced by the mayor of Leicester, to examine whether extremist groups and outside organisations encouraged the disturbances. Nationalist Hindu and Islamist organisations have been accused of stoking tensions online, while eight of the 18 people arrested on Sunday were not from Leicestershire.

 

Thank you to community member 'M.' for sharing developments around the Leicester disorder with our Discord users.

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Can there be a decisive battle in the modern era?

 

As Ukraine’s counteroffensive reports significant gains, especially in its Kharkiv offensive, our analysts look at the concept of a decisive battle, and whether it is possible in the modern era - and what a decisive battle might look like if so. Recorded in two parts, and covering past conflicts from the modern era as well as the latest from Ukraine, join our analysts for a wide ranging discussion on how conflicts are won in the modern age.

 

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