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June 11, 2021


Puerto Rico (Security threat level – 2): At approximately 1800 local time (2200 UTC) on 10 June 2021, an explosion and subsequent fire at the Monacillo power distribution plant in San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital, caused widespread blackouts on the island. As many as 700,000 homes and businesses were without electricity at the peak of the power outage. As of the latest reports on 11 June, about 36,000 customers remain without electricity, although service is expected to be fully restored by 1800 local time. The cause of the blast and resulting blaze is unknown. FBI officials in San Juan have launched an investigation to determine the cause of the event.

Officials with Luma — the private company responsible for transmission and distribution of electricity on the island — stated that the company also experienced a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that prevented customers from accessing their accounts on the company’s website just prior to the explosion at the plant. It is unknown if the cyberattack and the substation explosion are connected.


Malaysia (Security threat level – 3): On 11 June 2021, authorities announced that the nationwide coronavirus-related lockdown will be extended through 28 June; the order was scheduled to expire on 14 June. Under the measure, only essential businesses are allowed to operate. Social activities as well as inter-state travel are also banned, and residents may only travel within 10 km (6 mi) of their homes.


Burkina Faso / Chad / Mali / Mauritania / Niger (Security threat levels – 4 / 5 / 5 / 4 / 5): On 10 June 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that Operation Barkhane — an anti-terrorism effort in the Sahel region — will end later this month and be replaced by an as yet undefined operation that would restructure and reduce France’s military presence in the region. According to Macron, the new operation will rely more on regional partners in the Sahel.

Analyst Comment: Operation Barkhane began in August 2014 and is headquartered in Chad’s capital city N’Djamena; its forces predominantly operate in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. The conclusion of this military endeavor could potentially have widespread effects across the region; the ongoing spread of Islamist militancy in northern and central Mali could intensify further in the absence of robust counterterrorism efforts. On 3 June the French Ministry of Armed Forces announced a temporary suspension of joint operations and national advisory missions with the Malian military pending assurances from the transitional military government that Mali would return to civilian rule. At that time, officials had noted that French armed forces will continue to carry out counterterrorism operations in Mali and neighboring Chad; however, the most recent announcement suggests that such operations will continue under a new structure.

Sudan (Security threat level – 5): On 10 June 2021, authorities declared a state of emergency and a 1700-0600 local time (1500-0400 UTC) nightly curfew in the Qadir district, located in South Kordofan province. In addition, motorcycles are banned and residents are prohibited from carrying firearms in public. The state of emergency and associated curfew were enacted in response to fighting between the Dar Ali, Hawazma and Kinana al-Arefat tribal groups, which began in the early morning hours of 10 June. Additional security personnel have been deployed to the area in an attempt to quell the unrest.


Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On 10 June 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince issued a Security Alert regarding the deteriorating security environment in Port-au-Prince, which reads in part as follows: “Due to a recent dramatic increase in violence, kidnapping, and gang activity in the neighborhoods of Laboule 12, Martissant, Cite Soleil, Fontamara, Bas-Delmas, Toussaint Brave, and Bel Air, the U.S. Embassy will continue to restrict non-official travel of its direct-hire U.S. citizen staff from these areas. Direct-hire U.S. citizen staff have been directed to fly when travelling South in order to avoid said areas. Please avoid unnecessary travel to these neighborhoods and use extreme caution if you must transit through them. Night-time travel for U.S. citizen direct-hire staff is currently restricted to the Tabarre area. Additionally, staff have been reminded of the Government of Haiti’s country-wide curfew from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., due to COVID-19.”