Worldview Security Report – February 19, 2019
19-Feb-19

AMERICAS

Canada (Security threat level – 2): On 19 February 2019, approximately 200 trucks participating in the “United We Roll” protest convoy are expected to reach Parliament Hill in the capital Ottawa by late morning. Upon arrival in Ottawa, hundreds of people are expected to join the convoy outside the House of Commons to protest against the government’s environmental protection policies and to demand the construction of new oil pipelines. Various environmental and indigenous activist groups also plan to stage counter-protests in the same area. In anticipation of associated travel disruptions, authorities have shut down multiple streets in the city center, including a stretch of Wellington Street. The convoy departed from the city of Red Deer — situated in the western Alberta province — on 14 February.

AUSTRALASIA

New Caledonia / South Pacific Islands (Security threat levels – 1 / 1): According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, as of 0900 UTC on 19 February 2019, Tropical Cyclone Oma was located approximately 475 km (295 mi) northwest of Noumea, New Caledonia, and was moving south-southwest at a speed of 15 kph (9 mph). At that time, the Category 3 storm was generating maximum sustained winds of 139 kph, with gusts up to 167 kph. Authorities in New Caledonia have warned that large waves, flooding and damaging winds will likely persist over the next several days; thus far, at least 3,000 homes are without power in New Caledonia, and there are reports of downed trees and flooded roadways.

EUROPE

Italy (Security threat level – 3): At approximately 0800 local time (0700 UTC) on 19 February 2019, authorities temporarily suspended operations and evacuated Rome’s Ciampino International Airport (LIRA/CIA) after a fire broke out in the airport’s basement. At least seven flights were diverted to Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport (LIRF/FCO) during the facility’s closure. The airport partially reopened at approximately 1130 local time, with General Aviation services and the arrivals area operating normally. As of this writing, the departure area remains closed, and it is unclear when normal services will be restored. Delays are expected throughout the day at the airport. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Egypt (Security threat level – 4): On 18 February 2019, a suicide bomber detonated explosives outside Cairo’s al-Azhar Mosque. The explosion occurred near the rear entrance to the mosque and close to the Khan el-Khalili market, which is popular with foreign tourists and local visitors. Authorities stated that police officers had been in pursuit of the suspect when he detonated his explosives. The attack killed at least three Egyptian police officers, and injured three civilians, including a Thai tourist. After the explosion, security forces evacuated a nearby building and seized additional explosives. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Analyst Comment: While militants affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) and Muslim Brotherhood regularly target police forces, most such attacks occur in isolated areas where the risk of civilian casualties is lower. This attack is inconsistent with those trends and may mark the Muslim Brotherhood’s shift away from avoiding civilian casualties or it may reflect increased IS activity in populated areas of the country.




GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Albania (Security threat level – 3): On 18 February 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Albania, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Opposition parties held a major demonstration in central Tirana on 16 February 2019. Another protest is expected in central Tirana on Thursday 21 February. You are advised to stay away from the area. Further large-scale protests are possible. You should check the local media for the latest information, remain vigilant and avoid any demonstrations.”

  • Kuwait (Security threat level – 2): On 19 February 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait issued a Security Alert regarding the upcoming National Day and Liberation Day holidays, which reads in part as follows:

  • “The Kuwait National and Liberation Day holidays will be Monday, February 25, and Tuesday, February 26. U.S. citizens should expect festive celebrations, large crowds, and heavy traffic congestion in downtown and waterfront areas. There will be particularly heavy vehicular congestion and pedestrian traffic from early afternoon through the evening hours on and around the Gulf Road and in Salmiya. In the past, local police have blocked U-turn lanes and intersections on Gulf Road, forcing northbound traffic to travel the entire length of Gulf Road to turn around as well as restricting travel in the blocks adjacent to Gulf Road. Many celebrants engage in water gun fights, throw water balloons, and set off fireworks in the affected areas during these national holidays.”

  • Mozambique (Security threat level – 3): On 18 February 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Mozambique, which reads in part as follows: “The FCO now advise against all but essential travel to the districts of Nangade, Quissanga and Ibo in Cabo Delgado province.”

    “There has an been an increasing intensity of attacks in Cabo Delgado since May 2018, with attacks reported in the districts of Palma, Mocimboa da Praia, Macomia, Nangade, Quissanga, Muidumbe, Meluco and Ibo. Insurgents have used machetes and firearms to conduct lethal attacks, as well as burning vehicles and homes.”


    South Pacific Islands (Security threat level – 1): On 19 February 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Kolonia issued a Weather Alert that reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: the islands of Nukuoro in Pohnpei State; and Lukunor in the Mortlock Islands, Losap, and Chuuk Lagoon in Chuuk State.
  • “Event: The National Weather Service, Guam, has issued a Tropical Storm warning for the above-named islands.
  • “In addition, a Tropical Storm Watch is now in effect for Fananu, Puluwat and Ululu in Chuuk State and Satawal in Yap State.”

  • Security threat levels range from 1 (Very Low) to 5 (Very High) and are determined using a comprehensive system that utilizes both qualitative and quantitative analysis. The primary factors used to determine a location’s security threat level are Armed Conflict, Crime, Demonstrations/Strikes, Ethnic/Sectarian Tensions, Graft/Corruption, Kidnapping, Political Instability, Government Restriction and Terrorism.