Worldview Security Report – January 4, 2019
4-Jan-19

AMERICAS

Argentina (Security threat level – 3): According to reports on 4 January 2019, a Swedish national was shot in the knee during an attempted mugging near Avenida 9 de Julio in the central Buenos Aires neighborhood of Monserrat. An armed assailant shot the tourist after he resisted the mugging, then fled the scene. Authorities are searching for the assailant.

Mexico (Security threat level – 4): Shortly before 1100 local time (1700 UTC) on 3 January 2019, Aeromexico Flight AM120 from Mexico City blew out all four of its main landing gear tires upon touching down at Guadalajara International Airport (MMGL/GDL). Fire and emergency crews were called to the scene after the Boeing 737-800 aircraft’s landing gear caught fire and generated smoke. All 151 passengers and crew members on board safely disembarked with no injuries. Following the incident, officials suspended flights to and from the airport until 1500 local time; approximately 39 departure flights were delayed or canceled and at least 37 arrival flights were diverted elsewhere during the episode.

ASIA

Thailand (Security threat level – 3): On 4 January 2019, Tropical Storm Pabuk made landfall in Nakhon Si Thammarat province on southern Thailand’s east coast. Preliminary reports indicate that the streets in Nakhon Si Thammarat province are flooded and that the storm has downed trees and power lines. At least one person has died after a fishing boat capsized off the coast of the nearby Pattani province amid high winds. Torrential rains, flash flooding and powerful winds are expected to affect at least 12 nearby provinces, including Surat Thani — where the tourist islands Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan are located. The storm is currently projected to weaken into a depression as it reaches Surat Thani, but tourists on the island have already reported that the storm is causing intermittent power shortages. Authorities have also stated that Surat Thani International Airport (VTSB/URT) will be closed until 5 January due to the storm.

AUSTRALASIA

Fiji (Security threat level – 2): On 4 January 2019, Tropical Cyclone Mona was upgraded to a Category 2 storm. At approximately 2300 local time (1000 UTC), Mona was located approximately 300 km (186 mi) northwest of Yasawa-i-Rara Island, according to the Fiji Meteorological Service. At that time, the cyclone was posting maximum sustained winds of 95 kph (60 mph) with gusts of up to 130 kph, and was moving west-southwest at a speed of 15 kph. The storm is moving toward the island of Vanua Levu and is expected to make landfall on neighboring Viti Levu, Fiji’s main island, on 6 January. Powerful winds are likely to begin causing damage several hours before landfall. Heavy rain and wind warnings are in effect for most areas in Fiji in anticipation of heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding. Flights and ferries in and around Fiji have been canceled on 4 January in light of the storm.

EUROPE

France (Security threat level – 3): As of 4 January 2019, “yellow vest” protests are expected to occur in cities across France on 5 January. In Paris, yellow vest organizers are planning to gather in front of the City Hall at approximately 1400 local time (1300 UTC) to read a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron; they then plan to march to several locations, including Notre-Dame Cathedral and Musée d’Orsay, before ending the march at the National Assembly building. Protests are also expected in the cities of Bordeaux, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Rennes and Toulouse; additional demonstrations are possible in other parts of Paris and in other locations across the country.

Protest organizers have called for a revival of the movement and are encouraging massive turnout similar to the early protests in November 2018. While it is unclear how many people will participate in the protests, tens of thousands have expressed interest on social media. In addition, the arrest of a prominent yellow vest movement organizer on 2 January sparked outrage among supporters and increased calls for further demonstrations. Yellow vest protests have turned violent and disrupted traffic in the past, and the potential for violence and disruptions remains.




GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Burkina Faso (Security threat level – 4): On 3 January 2019, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) issued updated travel advice for Burkina Faso, which reads in part as follows:

  • “On December 31, 2018, Burkinabe authorities declared a state of emergency in several regions along the borders with Mali, Niger, Benin and Togo. Expect an increased security presence and checkpoints. Curfews could be imposed at any point. Follow the instructions of local authorities in these regions.”
  • India (Security threat level – 3): On 4 January 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued updated travel advice regarding protests in Kerala state, which reads in part as follows:

  • “There have been violent protests in some towns and cities in Kerala over the issue of women accessing the Sabarimala temple. Some public services have been disrupted in the wake of clashes between police and protesters. If you’re in Kerala or due to travel there, you should monitor media reports closely, remain vigilant and avoid large public gatherings.”
  • Madagascar (Security threat level – 3): On 4 January 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Antananarivo issued an Alert regarding a political demonstration, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Downtown Antananarivo specifically around City Hall and the broader Independence Avenue.
  • “Event: A political demonstration is currently taking place in downtown Antananarivo, on Independence Avenue, specifically by City Hall. Please avoid this area until further notice. Embassy personnel have been required to avoid the area during this time.
  • “Actions to Take:
  • Avoid the areas of downtown Antananarivo specifically around Independence Avenue.
  • Exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests.”
  • Netherlands (Security threat level – 2): On 4 January 2019, the U.S. Embassy in The Hague issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Announced gathering points and route includes, but is not limited to, the inner city of The Hague, the Binnenhof and the Plein (near the Dutch government buildings) in The Hague, Netherlands.
  • “Event: Demonstrations are expected from the ‘Yellow Vests’ group on Saturday, January 5, beginning at approximately 10:00 am and lasting until approximately 7:00 pm, to protest Dutch government laws and restrictions. The group will assemble in The Hague inner city near government buildings.
  • “U.S. government personnel and U.S. citizens are advised to avoid areas of demonstrations and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can quickly turn confrontational and escalate into violence. The Dutch police will be present to ensure public safety.”

  • 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.