Worldview Security Report – March 25, 2019
25-Mar-19

AUSTRALASIA

Australia (Security threat level – 2): According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, as of 0900 UTC on 25 March 2019, Tropical Cyclone Veronica was located approximately 400 km (250 mi) east-northeast of Learmonth and was moving west-southwest at a speed of 4 kph (2 mph). At that time, the storm was generating maximum sustained winds of 83 kph, with gusts up to 102 kph. The Category 2 storm is no longer expected to make landfall, but may still cause widespread flooding and power outages in Western Australia.

EUROPE

France (Security threat level – 3): On 23 March 2019, “yellow vest” protests continued for the 19th consecutive weekend across France. Approximately 41,000 people participated in the protests nationwide, including an estimated 5,000 people in the capital Paris. Clashes between protesters and police officers occurred in the cities of Paris, Lille, Lyon, Nantes, Toulouse, Nice and Montpellier. In Paris, police officers used tear gas to disperse protesters near the Boulevard de Strasbourg, the Gare du Nord rail station and the Gare de L’Est rail station as they attempted to march to the Place de la République. A total of 233 people were arrested nationwide, including several who were armed with baseball bats, slingshots and other potential weapons.

Analyst Comment: Increased security measures were implemented in Paris to combat the increase in violence that occurred at protests on 16 March. The security measures included preventing protesters from gathering at the Assemblée Nationale building and on the Champs-Elysées. Overall, it appears that the stringent security measures were effective and led to a reduction in the level of violence.

Germany (Security threat level – 3): As of 25 March 2019, nearly 60 flights have been canceled at at Frankfurt Airport (EDDF/FRA) due to an air traffic control software glitch. The issue has been affecting air traffic since 20 March, forcing Germany’s air traffic control agency to reduce capacity in the air over southwestern Germany by 25 percent in recent days. Authorities have stated that the issue will not be resolved until late on 27 March, and additional flight delays and cancellations are likely.

Italy (Security threat level – 3): On 25 March 2019, Italian air transport unions for Alitalia and Air Italy launched a nationwide strike over contract negotiations. Air Italy employees are observing the labor action for the next 24 hours; Alitalia employees conducted a strike from 1000 to 1400 local time (0900 to 1300 UTC). Delays have been reported at airports across the country, including at Rome-Fiumicino International Airport (LIRF/FCO), Milan’s Linate Airport (LIML/LIN) and Catania-Fontanarossa Airport (LICC/CTA). Alitalia has canceled 95 domestic and international flights thus far; Air Italy has not yet posted information about affected flights, but delays and cancellations should be anticipated throughout the day. The strike is mainly affecting flights to European cities. Alitalia will be re-booking affected passengers on same-day flights; it remains unclear what Air Italy will be doing to assist its affected passengers. Travelers should reconfirm travel plans during the strike period.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Israel (Security threat level – 3): On 25 March 2019, a long-range rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a home in the village of Mishmeret, located approximately 25 km (15 mi) north of Tel Aviv. At least seven people were injured. This incident marks the furthest distance a rocket has been fired into Israel since 2014. No group has claimed responsibility for the rocket, but the militant group Hamas has explicitly denied its involvement. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that Israel will respond to the attack with force. Thus far, the Israeli military has called up its reserves and has deployed additional forces to southern Israel.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Mauritius (Security threat level – 1): According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, as of 0900 UTC on 25 March 2019, Tropical Cyclone Joaninha was located approximately 610 km (380 mi) east-northeast of Port Louis, Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean and was moving east-southeast at a speed of 11 kph (7 mph). At that time, the storm was generating maximum sustained winds of 185 kph, with gusts of up to 231 kph. The storm is expected to pass over the island of Rodrigues on 26 March. Mauritius Meteorological Services has issued a Class IV Cyclone Warning for Rodrigues Island, where all flights to and from Sir Gaetan Duval Airport (FIMR/RRG) have been canceled through at least 25 March, although the closure could be extended. The storm is unlikely to heavily affect the main island of Mauritius, but large swells are possible.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On 25 March 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince issued two Security Alerts. The first alert reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Carradeux near the SMCRS’s office
  • “Events: Reports of burning tires.”
  • The second alert reads in part as follows:
  • “Locations:
  • Canapé Vert
  • Near Aristide University.
  • “Events: Reports of roadblocks.”
  • India (Security threat level – 3): On 25 March 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO issued updated travel advice regarding the upcoming parliamentary (Lok Sabha) elections, which reads in part as follows:

  • “India’s general elections are due to take place between 11 April and 19 May 2019. Political rallies and meetings will occur across the country during this time. You should exercise caution and avoid large gatherings.”
  • Serbia (Security threat level – 3): On 22 March 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Serbia, countrywide
  • “Event: Observations of the 20th anniversary of NATO’s Operation Allied Force are expected throughout Serbia starting March 24 and lasting at least through June 10, 2019. There may be rapidly changing and unpredictable protest activity during this period. There may also be a rise in activity associated with unrelated ongoing civic demonstrations. We remind U.S. citizens in Serbia that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.”

  • 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.