Intelligence Fusion Weekly Update 12/16/2022

 


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Friday 16th December 2022

 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

Lebanon

An Irish soldier on UN duties was killed and three others were wounded when unidentified gunmen attacked their vehicles in a village near to the southern Lebanese city of Saida. In a video claiming to show the incident, the UN vehicles can be seen attempting to evade a road block after they were surrounded by a 'hostile crowd' before being fired on.

 

Tensions are reported to have been growing between UN forces in the south of Lebanon and local communities in recent months, but the incident represents a significant escalation as direct engagements involving UN personnel are rare. Hezbollah have denied involvement in the incident, and stated that the shooting was an 'unintentional incident.'

Intelligence Insight Weekly - What's Happening in Africa?

AFRICA

Chad

Between four and a dozen soldiers, including officers of an elite corps, were arrested by the General Directorate of Military Intelligence of Chad between 9th and 11th December. All of them have so far belonged to the Pan Sahel Initiative (PSI), a special anti-terrorist unit of the Chadian army formed by the United States. Baradine Berdei, a human rights activist very critical of the authorities and who had already been imprisoned during the time of Idriss Déby senior, is the only civilian arrested in connection with what has been described by authorities as “a macabre project” designed to “perturb the institutions of the Republic”.

 

The arrests take place after concerns over authoritarianism taking hold in Chad. In recent weeks, 262 people have been sentenced to between two and three years in prison and another 80 for one to two years after being charged with unauthorised gathering, destruction of property, arson and disturbing public order during pro-democracy protests on 20th October known as “Black Thursday”. Local NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and rights groups claim that nearly 200 civilians were killed by security forces. Key actors boycotted a peace deal on 8th August as well as the national dialogue.

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EUROPE

Italy

Italy's largest trade union - the CGIL - has begun nationwide strikes this week. The union covers multiple sectors including education and transport. While the CGIL is not the only union in Italy, reports indicate it is among the most vocal and militant among Italy's trade unions. On a number of occasions, incidents involving this union have featured far-left elements Consequently, strikes carried out by the union can cause significant disruption across Italy.

 

Additionally, its actions and stances attract hostile opposition; there have been numerous incidents of CGIL offices being vandalised as well as the targeting of its national HQ in Rome during a night of rioting on 9th Oct 2021. This incident saw members of the far-right/Neo-Nazi Forza Nuova movement taking a leading role in targeting the CGIL. With these strikes occurring across the country, there is potential for small-scale clashes to occur but these are likely to be anticipated by police and mitigated. However, there is potential for a spike in property damage/vandalism to CGIL offices across the country at this time.

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NORTH AMERICA

New York, USA

On the 13th December at around 10:30, a large fire broke out at the New York City Police Department evidence storage facility at the Erie Basin Auto Pound in Brooklyn with at least eight people sustaining minor injuries due to the fire. By the 14th December the fire was under control with firefighters “handling fire flare-ups and hot spots”.

 

Up to 30 years of DNA and items collected from crime scenes may have been destroyed in the fire. The storage facility also stored seized vehicles, motorcycles, e-bikes and “historic vehicles” (for example the patrol cars of fallen officers). Although it is unclear at this time how much evidence has been lost, the NYPD reportedly stored 1,000 barrels of evidence. This being said, much of the biological evidence is backed up onto computers with pictures wherever possible.

 

The loss of evidence will mostly affect cold cases or future case appeals: with this mass loss of evidence and as technology develops police have now lost the ability to re-test evidence. The cause of the fire is still under investigation and no official cause has yet been released. Some police sources have alleged that the fire did not appear to be criminal in nature with investigations so far pointing to electrical issues.

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SOUTH AMERICA

Peru

On the 14th December the Peruvian government declared a 30 day state of emergency nationwide. The measure, which has not been widely used in this way since the 1990s, comes after heavy protests across the country following former president Castillo’s attempted coup through the dissolution of Congress.

 

At least eight people have died and hundreds have been injured during the protests, many of which have supported Castillo. Violent clashes between the police and protestors have taken place and protestors have organised roadblocks and attacked police stations, courthouses, factories and airports as well as other infrastructure: in Cusco, protesters have blocked roads which has resulted in supplies to copper mines, local food markets to be cut off and has shut down access to Machu Picchu. In the Huancavelica region several public office buildings were set on fire by protestors. In the municipality of Arequipa, protestors torched a local court.

 

In response to some of these acts, Peruvian police have reportedly arrested 71 people accused of disturbing the public peace so far. Troops have reportedly already been placed at airports, hydroelectric dams and other key infrastructure to prevent further damage.

 

This state of emergency will grant police special powers, allow the military to assist police and limit certain civil rights and freedoms, notably the right to assemble and the freedom of transit. The state of emergency has been signed into law and as of yet no curfew has been imposed.

 
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Jordan truckers strike over fuel prices, police officer reportedly killed in clashes

 

Jordanian police have confirmed the death of a senior police commander, killed in clashes with protesters that broke out over high cost of fuel in the country.

 

Abdul Razzaq Abdel Hafez Al Dalabeh, deputy police director in the city of Ma'an, was shot on Thursday during riots in the city, with police describing the perpetrators as a "group of outlaws."

 

Police Friday morning also reported that an officer and a non-commissioned officer were shot while calming riots in Ma'an, Jordan. It is unclear at this time whether the shootings were separate or the same incident. At the time of writing a total of four other policemen were injured during protests in Ma'an.

 

Thousands of lorry drivers have staged several days of strikes in protest over high fuel prices, with shops in some provincial cities also closing in solidarity with the protests. Protesters have demanded that the government reduce diesel prices, saying that mounting costs are causing losses to their businesses.

 

Protests and unrest have been reported in several cities in addition to Ma'an, including Irbid, where youths clashed with police in several neighbourhoods, while others burned tyres on a highway between the capital and the Dead Sea, disrupting traffic.

 

Thanks to server member 'M.' for sharing news of the planned strikes, and to 'LeRoux' for posting news of the death of a policeman with members of our OSINT community. 

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