Intelligence Fusion Newsletter 11/18/2022

 

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Friday 18th November 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;

Intelligence Insight Weekly - What's Happening in Asia?

MIDDLE EAST & ASIA

Thailand

On the morning of Sunday, 13th November, three locals foraging in the woods near Chanae in the Southern Thai province of Narathiwat were ambushed by insurgents. One was killed and the other two injured when an IED was detonated and around 20 rounds fired from an assault rifle by an unknown gunman. In what was clearly a coordinated second attack, responding members of the Narathiwat Task Force were hit by a roadside IED which seriously injured two officers, one of whom died later in hospital. These attacks were followed on the night of 15th November by twin IED attacks on two fuel stations along Highway 42 in Pattani, which injured one.

 

Although the incidents in Narathiwat and Pattani are not necessarily linked, neither attack has been attributed to a specific group. Whether or not more than one group was involved, four attacks in the space of three days represents a sustained level of insurgent activity which has been consistent over recent months, although is yet to reach levels witnessed in August, when a series of attacks were carried out across the provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala by the Barisan Revolusi Nasional.

Intelligence Insight Weekly - What's Happening in Africa?

AFRICA

Nigeria

Suspected Boko Haram militants killed 20 women after they were allegedly accused of witchcraft in the Mandara Hills of Borno State. Local reporting claimed that a local Boko Haram commander named as Ali Ngulde had accused the women of witchcraft following the death of one of his children. The women were among approximately 40 people abducted from the area earlier in the week.

 

The incident comes shortly after Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) claimed responsibility for an attack on a Red Cross Site elsewhere in Borno State, where militant groups continue to maintain a sizeable influence. Elsewhere in Borno state this week, Nigerian security forces claimed to have killed a known Boko Haram commander named as Abu Hassan during a clash in the Mafa axis of Borno. The militants are reported to have withdrawn to the Gaizuwa area, in Bama following the fighting.

Insight Weekly - Europe Image

EUROPE

Austria

On two occasions this week, a climate activist group called 'Last Generation Austria / Letzte Generation Γ–sterreich' vandalised exhibits at two museums/galleries in Vienna (a dinosaur exhibit at the Museum of Natural History and a painting at the Leopold Museum). The group follows the same tactics and name of Last Generation in Germany (Letzte Generation) and Italy (Ultima Generazione), two members of a global network of climate activists called the 'A22 Network;' which also includes the UK's Just Stop Oil. All of these members of the A22 Network are funded by the US-based Climate Emergency Fund.

 

However, Last Generation Austria is not a declared member of the group as listed on the a22network.org website. Another group in Spain has been noticed who carries out the same kinds of tactics and echoes the same climate activist rhetoric; called 'Futuro Vegetal.' Like Last Generation Austria, they are not declared members of the A22 Network.

 

These undeclared groups could be inspired by the A22 Network but not directly affiliated; or the A22 Network is much larger than has been publicly declared - potentially meaning that the US funded A22 Network consists of more groups than has been stated.

Insight Weekly - North America Image

NORTH AMERICA

United States of America

As results continue to be counted from the 8th November midterm elections, the competition of who will control the Senate has drawn to a close with the Democratic Party maintaining their hold on the senate, despite the expected ‘red wave’. As the incumbent party wins the closely contested seat of Nevada, the balance of votes hangs at 50-49 with the Democrats holding the majority. Depending on the Georgia runoff, the Democrats would either hold the majority of 51-49 or 50-50, leading Vice President Kamala Harris to serve as a tie-breaker, maintaining the status quo.

 

Where the Republicans have performed is in the House elections. Following California's 27th congressional district announcing incumbent Republican Mike Garcia had won re-election, the GOP won the 218 majority seats in the house. The majority that the Republicans hold will not be known for the next few days or possibly even weeks as results continue to be counted throughout the country. It is expected that their seats will be between 218 to 223, a far cry from the predicted result before the elections.

 

Speaker of the House and representative for California’s 12th congressional district, Nancy Pelosi has announced that she will not be continuing her position of House Leader for the Democrats in the minority house and will be resigning from the position. She has also announced that she plans to remain as a representative albeit not in a leadership role. Eyes look set on New York representative Hakeem Jeffries to replace the outgoing leader following a vote on 30th November.

Insight Weekly - South America Image

SOUTH AMERICA

Peru

The World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) reported on 18th November that the type A H5 virus - bird flu - had been detected in the country. It is reported that the virus killed 200 pelicans that were found in the northern province of Paita. The virus is often carried by wild birds which can then spread to poultry flocks. Last month, Mexican authorities detected the H5N1 strain at a 60,000 bird poultry farm in Montemorelos in the State of Nuevo Leon. The strain was first detected in a wild bird in the Metepec district to the west of capital Mexico City in one of the migratory wild bird corridors that cross the country. As a result, Mexico announced this week that it will start vaccinating birds in high-risk areas.

 

Concerns have been raised about the spread of the virus. The disease is usually carried by wild birds in autumn and winter but normally subsides during the northern hemisphere summer which has not occurred this year. Massive culls have taken place in Europe and North America as a result. Around 52 million birds have been slaughtered in Europe and just over 50 million in the United States due to health concerns this year. The disease is blamed for driving up the price of turkey in the United States before Thanksgiving. Bird flu can be fatal to humans with the World Health Organisation reporting 456 fatal cases in humans between January 2003 and August 2022. The fatality rate has been reported at 53% and there is concern that a mutation will enable the virus to become more easily transmissible.

 
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At least eight nuclear capable artillery spotted in Luhansk, Ukraine

 

At least eight 2S7M Malka artillery platforms - capable of firing nuclear shells - have been spotted on rail transports in northern Luhansk Oblast, due east of Ukraine's recent gains in Kharkiv Oblast.

 

While the platforms have the potential to fire these 'tactical' nuclear rounds, there is no evidence to confirm that they have nuclear rounds with them. Further, while the recent sighting is of potential concern, there is a reported presence of these platforms - also featuring the nuclear-capable 2S5 Giatsint-S - as far back as October, meaning Russia has had plenty of time to use nuclear weapons in theatre as per their doctrine. Ukrainian forces have also had success against these artillery platforms in both Kherson and Mykolaiv recently courtesy of the M142 HIMARS platform.

 

It is likely that these weapons systems will be a high value target for HIMARS platforms going forward.

 

Thanks to server member 'Ian - AvSec/Intel' for their help identifying these weapons systems from video shared in the #weapons-identification channel of our OSINT community. 

Get involved: our reporting is aided by members of our OSINT Discord community. Join now for your chance to be featured in future reporting and become part of

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THE INSIGHT: An Intelligence Fusion Video Series

 

Providing you with a deeper insight and more comprehensive analysis of wider security trends, evolving patterns and unexplored geopolitical themes from around the world.

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