United States (Security threat level – 2): At approximately 2100 Eastern Daylight Time on 14 June 2021 (0100 UTC on 15 June), Southwest Airlines grounded all of its flights due to a technical glitch with the airline’s third-party weather data provider. The temporary stoppage, which lasted for about three hours, caused significant disruptions to flights operated by the airline. More than 1,400 scheduled flights reportedly experienced delays across U.S. airports. A spokesperson for the company stated that the glitch prevented weather data transmission required to safely operate the aircraft, prompting the ground stop.
South Korea (Security threat level – 2): On 15 June 2021, approximately 4,000 members of the Parcel Delivery Workers’ Solidarity Union launched a two-day sit-in protest at Yeouido Park near the National Assembly building in the capital Seoul to demand better working conditions. Minor scuffles broke out between demonstrators and police officers after the officers attempted to disperse the protesters for violating coronavirus-related restrictions on public gatherings. However, there were no reports of injuries or arrests and the sit-in continued.
Israel (Security threat level – 4): On 14 June 2021, Israeli defense forces deployed additional personnel to Jerusalem and the West Bank ahead of a planned far-right Flag March in East Jerusalem, which is scheduled to begin at 1830 local time (1530 UTC) on 15 June. Israeli forces also raised the alert level for the country’s Iron Dome air defense system in anticipation of renewed rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip. The planned route of the march goes through the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, along Sultan Suleiman Street, and will end at the Damascus Gate — a flash point for recent unrest. Marchers will wave Israeli flags as a demonstration of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. The Palestinian militant group Hamas called on its supporters in Jerusalem and within Israel to disrupt the march, calling for a day of rage.
Analyst Comment: Organizations with personnel and assets in Israel should monitor the situation closely due to the high likelihood of violence. While unrest will likely be centered on East Jerusalem and the West Bank, the possibility of more widespread violence — including rocket attacks by Hamas militants based in Gaza — cannot be ruled out.
Somalia (Security threat level – 5): At approximately 0940 local time (0640 UTC) on 15 June 2021, a suicide bomber attacked the General Dhagabadan military training facility in Mogadishu’s Wadajir district, located about 1.6 km (1 mi) from Aden Adde International Airport (HCMM/MGQ). The assailant, wearing an explosives-laden vest, had queued up among individuals registered to join the army. At least 15 people were killed and 20 others were wounded in the blast. According to local health officials, 14 of those injured remain hospitalized with serious wounds. The al-Shabab militant group claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Costa Rica (Security threat level – 3): On 14 June 2021, the U.S. Embassy in San José issued a Security Alert regarding a possible transport strike, which reads in part as follows: “Costa Rican media outlets are reporting that the bus and taxi driver unions are calling for a national public transportation strike across Costa Rica beginning on Tuesday, June 15 and continuing indefinitely. According to the information, the organizations are demonstrating against the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, gasoline prices, and payment of social security obligations. The majority of protests in Costa Rica are non-violent in nature. However, you should exercise caution in the vicinity of any large gathering, protests, or demonstration. Avoid such large gatherings whenever possible; do not attempt to enter or pass through them.”
Greece (Security threat level – 3): On 15 June 2021, the U.S. mission in Greece issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:
“Location: Athens, Thessaloniki, and locations throughout Greece
“Event: Public sector employees announced a 24-hour Panhellenic General Strike for June 16, 2021. In Athens, a public sector employee demonstration is scheduled at Syntagma Square at 16:00. In Thessaloniki, two demonstrations are planned at 11:00; one is a demonstration at Kamara by anarchist groups, and the other is a demonstration at Agias Sofias and Egnatia by labor unions. Additional demonstrations may unexpectedly take place throughout Greece during the day.
“The following strikes are scheduled for Wednesday, June 16, 2021 (12:00am to 11:59pm), unless otherwise noted:
“Other organizations may decide to join the 24-hour Panhellenic General Strike for June 16, 2021 without prior warning. Please monitor www.apergia.gr for last minute strike notifications.”
Saudi Arabia (Security threat level – 3): On 14 June 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Saudi Arabia, which reads in part as follows: “On 12 June 2021, the Saudi authorities announced that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pilgrims from outside the Kingdom would not be permitted to enter Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj in 2021. Hajj rites will be limited to 60,000 pilgrims who already reside in the Kingdom. Those wishing to perform Hajj must be between 18-65 years old and comply with health and vaccination requirements. Those who have not performed Hajj in the last 5 years can register to participate using the electronic portal. Registration is open until 10pm (KSA time) on Wednesday 23 June, and the booking and purchasing of Hajj packages will start at 1pm on June 25.”