Bangladesh (Security threat level – 4): According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW) in Bangladesh has reported 52,807 confirmed cases of dengue since the beginning of the year and a total of 230 related deaths. Although cases have been reported countrywide, the region most impacted in this outbreak is Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh; which accounts for just over 70% of cases. Dengue is endemic in Bangladesh; however, this is the second largest outbreak since 2000 and is reported by the WHO to be “unusual in its scale and seasonality.” A surge in cases has been seen since June 2022.
The dengue virus is passed on to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Symptoms include a fever in addition to any of the following: nausea, vomiting, rash, and aches and pains. Symptoms typically last from 2 to 7 days, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention most people recover after about a week, but 1 in 20 cases are severe and can be fatal. There is no specific treatment for dengue fever.
A new dengue vaccine is approved for use in children ages 9-16 with laboratory-confirmed dengue who live in areas where dengue is endemic, otherwise mosquito bite avoidance is key to avoiding infection.
For additional information on dengue symptoms and bite avoidance, please refer to the CDC.
Bangladesh (Security threat level – 4): On the afternoon of 7 December 2022, Bangladesh National Party (BNP) supporters clashed with police officers near the party’s headquarters in the Naya Paltan district of the capital Dhaka as BNP supporters obstructed traffic in the area. Police officers fired tear gas in the direction of BNP supporters, who set fire to debris in the street and blocked off multiple avenues. Near the Nightingale intersection and the Fakirapul suburb, dozens of individuals charged at police officers. At least one person was killed in the clashes and authorities arrested more than 100 people. Police officers have cordoned off streets near the BNP headquarters and redirected traffic in the area.
China (Security threat level – 3) : On 7 December 2022, National Health Commission officials announced the relaxation of a number of rules and restrictions related to the government’s zero-COVID strategy amid nationwide protests in dozens of cities in recent weeks. Coronavirus-related lockdowns will now only be applied to specific buildings, apartment units or building floors rather than entire residential communities or districtwide. Any future lockdown restrictions will last no longer than five days if no new coronavirus cases are detected. Local authorities are also prohibited from blocking off fire passages, unit doors or community entrances in active lockdown zones to ensure residents have access to medical treatment and emergency services. Additionally, individuals with mild COVID-19 cases can now quarantine at home instead of at a government-approved facility. Health officials also announced that passengers for domestic flights will no longer be required to present a negative COVID-19 result from a test taken in the previous 48 hours.
Germany (Security threat level – 3): In the early morning hours of 7 December 2022, police officers arrested more than 100 members of the far-right Reichsburger – Citizens of the Reich – movement, on charges of plotting to overthrow the government and install a monarch who is a member of a German royal family. The Federal Public Prosecutor General stated that the morning raids occurred in the capital Berlin, Frankfurt and 11 other cities. Individuals taken under arrest include foreign nationals. Prosecutors are designating the raids as anti-terror efforts, as another Reichsburger group was allegedly plotting to kidnap Germany’s health minister.
Spain (Security threat level – 2): At approximately 0800 local time (0700 UTC) on 7 December 2022, a crash involving two trains on the R4 suburban line occurred at the Montcada i Reixac – Manresa station, located approximately 10 km (6 mi) north of Barcelona’s city center. According to state-owned rail company Renfe Operadora, one of the involved trains was parked at the station when an incoming train struck it from behind at a low rate of speed. Authorities dispatched 18 ambulances to the station, where emergency personnel treated 155 passengers for minor injuries; 14 were transferred to a nearby medical facility for additional care. Train services on lines R4, R7, and R12 were temporarily suspended in both directions in the immediate aftermath of the crash. However, as of 0930 local time, service on the affected lines has been restored following the removal of debris. The event remains under investigation.
Analyst comment: Following the restoration of services on lines R4, R7 and R12, there have been no immediate reports of additional disruptions to regional or national rail services. Rail passengers in Barcelona may encounter arrival and departure delays as train crews implement supplementary safety checks and procedures.
Indonesia (Security threat level – 4): At approximately 0800 local time (0100 UTC) on 7 December 2022, a suicide bomber detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) inside the Astana Anyar Police Station on Jl. Astana Anyar Street in the city of Bandung – the capital of West Java province – located approximately 110 km (70 mi) southeast of Jakarta. According to a police spokesperson, the perpetrator entered the station armed with a knife during a morning assembly prior to detonating the explosive device in the building’s lobby. The explosion killed the bomber and a police officer and injured 10 other police officers. Later the same morning, a second IED was found within the vicinity of the first explosion; however, police officers safely detonated the device in a controlled environment. Barricades have since been erected outside the Astana Anyar Police Station and incoming traffic from the direction of the Tegallega area is currently being directed away from the crime scene. Investigators have identified the bomber as a member of the Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) terrorist organization — an offshoot of the Islamic State group. Authorities found notes at scene of the explosion, apparently written by the bomber, which criticized the new criminal code that Indonesia’s parliament passed on 7 December.
Analyst Comment: There are several provisions in parliament’s newly ratified criminal code that Islamic extremists oppose, particularly the outlawing of ideologies that are against the state, which includes Islamic extremist ideologies. The new criminal code could be used as a pretext for terrorist organizations to conduct bombings and other attacks against the state and foreign business interests in Indonesia.
Bangladesh (Security threat level – 4): On 7 December 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows: “The next general election in Bangladesh is anticipated to occur before or during January 2024, and political party rallies and other election-related activities have already commenced. Political rallies and demonstrations may be held with increasing frequency or intensity as the general election draws nearer. Two of Bangladesh’s largest political parties have announced rallies in different areas of Dhaka for December 10, 2022.
“U.S. citizens should practice vigilance and remember that demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. You should avoid demonstrations and exercise caution in the vicinity of any large gatherings. Review personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates.”
Greece (Security threat level – 2): On 6 December 2022, the U.S. Mission in Greece issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Groups protesting the shooting this week of a Roma teenager during a police pursuit have at times blocked traffic in different areas of Thessaloniki and Athens. Some demonstrations have turned violent and led to the destruction of property. There is a potential for tear-gas and anti-riot engagement between police and demonstrators.
“U.S. government personnel and U.S. citizens are advised to avoid the areas of Athens and Thessaloniki where protests and violence are occurring, as described below.
“ATHENS: Protests have been taking place in multiple areas of Athens, including Mesogeion Avenue near Nomismatokopio Metro Station, Exarchia, the Ministry of Labor, and Athens University. Exercise greater caution as well around Hellenic National Police buildings, Syntagma Square, and Omonia.
“THESSALONIKI: Protests have been taking place in multiple areas of Thessaloniki, including the Arch of Galerius, Ippokrateio Hospital, and Thessaloniki Court House. Exercise greater caution as well around Hellenic National Police buildings, Venizelos Statue, Aristotle University, and Aristotelous Square.”
Kenya (Security threat level – 4): On 7 December 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Kenya is experiencing a seasonal uptick in violent crimes, particularly muggings during daylight hours and in heavily pedestrian-trafficked areas during the holiday season. Other crimes of opportunity, including armed robbery, home invasions, and carjackings, also occur during the season.
“Criminal activity often occurs in crowded public locations such as holiday markets, shopping malls, airports, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, transportation hubs, schools, and other areas frequented by tourists. Public events, such as demonstrations, holiday events, and celebratory gatherings are also at a higher risk for violence.”