ASIA China (Security threat level – 3): On 23 November...
New Zealand (Security threat level – 1): On 10 February 2022, scuffles broke out on Parliament grounds in the capital Wellington as police officers began to remove demonstrators who remained at the site for a third consecutive day to protest coronavirus-related mandates in New Zealand. The demonstrators had set up tents on the grounds and parked vehicles on nearby streets, causing disruptions. Police officers used pepper spray on some participants during the scuffles. At least two police officers and several demonstrators sustained minor injuries. Authorities arrested more than 120 people.
South Pacific Islands (Security threat level – 1): As of 0900 UTC on 10 February 2022, Tropical Cyclone Dovi was located approximately 130 km (80 mi) southeast of Noumea, New Caledonia, and was moving southwest at 22 kph (14 mph), according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, the storm was generating maximum sustained winds of 140 kph, with gusts of up to 167 kph. Dovi is currently expected to continue along its forecast path through the early hours of 12 February before shifting southeast toward New Zealand’s North Island. Authorities have warned of heavy rainfall across New Caledonia and the southern islands of Vanuatu, which could cause flash flooding in low-lying areas.
Belarus (Security threat level – 3): On 10 February 2022, Russian and Belarusian troops began large-scale joint military exercises near the Belarusian border with Ukraine, which spans over 1,000 km (620 mi). U.S. government officials claim that about 30,000 Russian troops will be participating in the Belarus exercises, which are expected to continue until 20 February, although Russia has not confirmed the exact number of troops taking part in the drills. Satellite images from 4 February show multiple rocket launchers, Iskander missile launchers and military vehicles stationed in Yelsk, Belarus — a town located approximately 20 km away from the Ukraine-Belarus border. In related developments, Ukraine has begun its own military exercises, employing drones and anti-tank missiles, in response to the drills in Belarus. The training exercises in Ukraine are also expected to last until 20 February. These military exercises have fueled already heightened tensions in the region amid fears of possible Russian military actions against Ukraine.
United Kingdom (Security threat level – 3): On 9 February 2022, authorities in the U.K. lowered the national terrorism threat level to “substantial,” which indicates that an attack is likely. The substantial level is the third-highest alert on a five-tier scale. The terrorism threat level in the U.K. was raised to “severe” in November 2021, a day after a homemade explosive device detonated in a taxi parked outside a hospital in the city of Liverpool, killing the taxi’s sole passenger and injuring the driver. Further information regarding threat levels in the U.K. is available here.
Saudi Arabia (Security threat level – 3): On 10 February 2022, Saudi-led coalition forces intercepted an explosives-laden drone targeting Abha International Airport (OEAB/AHB), located approximately 100 km (60 mi) north of the country’s border with Yemen. Shrapnel from the intercepted drone fell on the airport premises, forcing officials to briefly halt flights. Operations at the facility have since resumed. At least 12 people were reportedly injured, including passengers and airport workers. The Yemen-based Houthi rebel group claimed responsibility for the attack; the Houthis regularly launch armed drones as well as missiles toward Saudi Arabia and often target this particular airport.
Somalia (Security threat level – 5): On the morning of 10 February 2022, a suicide attacker detonated a car bomb near the El Gaab junction in the capital Mogadishu. The bombing targeted a vehicle carrying delegates of elections for Somalia’s lower house of parliament. At least six people were killed in the blast and more than a dozen others sustained severe wounds. The al-Shabab militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Canada (Security threat level – 2): On 9 February 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows: “In response to ongoing Freedom Convoy protests in Canada, the U.S. Embassy reiterates that while there is a very small likelihood of violence at a political gathering in Canada, we strongly encourage U.S. citizens traveling or resident in Canada to avoid all protests and demonstrations, maintain a high level of vigilance, and practice good situational awareness. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General are continually monitoring the current demonstrations in Canada and continue to provide routine and emergency services to U.S. citizens.” The full text of the alert is available here.
Sudan (Security threat level – 5): On 10 February 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Acts of civil disobedience are expected to take place today, February 10th, in Khartoum and potentially in other states. This may include centralized or decentralized demonstrations, road blockages by protesters, and business closures. Security forces may close bridges. Unannounced protests and other acts of civil disobedience may continue to take place in the coming weeks, in addition to larger organized protests.”