Worldview Security Report – May 20, 2019
20-May-19

AMERICAS

Honduras (Security threat level – 4): On 18 May 2019, a single-engine private aircraft carrying four tourists crashed into the Atlantic Ocean after departing from Roatán Island, located approximately 55 km (35 mi) north of the coast. The N260 TM Piper PA-32-260 Cherokee Six aircraft had been en route to the city of Trujillo when the accident occurred. Authorities are investigating the cause of the crash. All five individuals onboard the aircraft, including four U.S. tourists and a Canadian pilot, were killed in the crash.

ASIA

Bangladesh (Security threat level – 4): On 19 May 2019, workers at state-owned jute mills decided to extend their hours of protest on 22 May to between 0800 and 1400 local time (0200 and 0800 UTC) as part of an ongoing strike action to demand wage arrears. Currently, the daily protests are taking place between 1600 and 1900 local time. During the protests, workers typically block roads and railways, leading to disruptions.

EUROPE

France (Security threat level – 3): On 18 May 2019, approximately 15,000 people participated in “yellow vest” demonstrations across France. The number of protesters was lower than the 18,600 who participated in the demonstrations on 11 May. In Paris, approximately 1,600 demonstrators gathered at the Tour Total tower in La Défense business district and marched to the Sacré-Cœur in the 18th arrondissement; there were no reports of violence. In Reims, police officers fired tear gas after a small group of protesters threw projectiles and smashed windows. At least 12 people were injured and two were arrested during the clash. The number of injuries and arrests nationwide remains unclear.

Italy (Security threat level – 3) : As of 20 May 2019, unions representing airport and airline staff are expected to launch a 24-hour strike across Italy to protest against poor labor conditions and low wages. The industrial action is expected to begin at 0000 local time on 21 May (2200 UTC on 20 May). Airline Alitalia has canceled approximately 50 percent of its flights in preparation for the strike, but stated that flights between 0700 to 1000 local time and 1800 to 2100 local time will operate on schedule. The airline further stated that it expects an estimated 60 percent of travelers will face minimal disruptions. Blue Panorama, Blue Air and easyJet have also announced cancellations and flight disruptions due to the strike. Eurocontrol has warned travelers to check with airport authorities for disruptions at specific airports.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Egypt (Security threat level – 4): On 19 May 2019, a roadside bomb detonated as a tourist bus and a car were passing by the Grand Egyptian Museum, located approximately 3 km (2 mi) from the Giza Pyramid Complex. The blast shattered the windows of both vehicles. At least 16 people were injured in the blast, including several South African nationals. Authorities are investigating the explosion, for which no group has yet claimed responsibility. Terrorism is a longstanding concern in Egypt. The last explosion near Giza occurred in December 2018; the attack killed four people, including three Vietnamese nationals and one Egyptian.

Iran / United States / Saudi Arabia / Oman (Security threat levels – 3 / 2 / 3 / 2): On 16 May 2019, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an advisory that warns commercial airlines operating over the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman to exercise increased caution “due to heightened military activities and increased political tensions in the region.” The FAA also warned that “inadvertent GPS interference and communications jamming” could occur with little to no warning. The advisory specifically references Tehran, Baghdad, Kuwait and Bahrain, among other locations, as areas for aircraft to approach with caution. The advisory follows the deployment of a U.S. aircraft carrier group and bombers to the region in response to what the U.S. government claims are imminent threats from the Iranian government.

Iraq (Security threat level – 5): On 19 May 2019, at least one Katyusha rocket was fired into Baghdad’s Green Zone, which houses several government buildings and foreign embassies. There were no casualties and no reports of damage. The source of the rocket fire is unknown at this time; some sources indicate that the rocket fire came from an “open field in southern Baghdad.” No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Cameroon (Security threat level – 4): On 17 May 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Cameroon, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Armed separatists have announced a general strike in the Anglophone regions on some days in May. Tensions may be particularly high around Cameroon’s National Day on 20 May. Armed separatists also imposed an extended general strike in February 2019, with reports of violence and loss of life. Urban transport in towns and cities was affected and vehicular traffic in and out of the region was restricted. Incidents of sporadic gunfire also occurred, including shooting in Bamenda, Buea and the outskirts of Limbe.”
  • Kenya (Security threat level – 4): On 18 May 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Kenya, countrywide
  • “Event: Terrorist groups have a history of carrying out attacks during Ramadan. On May 15, the Kenyan Police issued a notice to the public explaining that they have enhanced patrols during this time and intensified security in areas of interest (churches, mosques) countrywide.”
  • Malawi (Security threat level – 3): On 20 May 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Malawi, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Malawi will hold Tripartite Elections (Presidential, Parliamentary and local council) elections on 21 May 2019. The election campaign officially ended at 6am local time on Sunday 19 May. In the days following the elections, sporadic localised inter-party violence may occur. You should exercise caution during the post-election period and avoid large crowds and demonstrations. Whilst we believe the elections will be mostly peaceful, you may also wish to stock up on petrol, food and essentials, including any medication, in case normal service provision is disrupted in the short term.”
  • 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.