Worldview Security Update – April 29, 2019
29-Apr-19

ASIA

India / Bangladesh (Security threat levels – 3 / 4): According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, as of 0900 UTC on 29 April 2019, Tropical Cyclone Fani was located approximately 830 km (515 mi) southeast of Chennai, India, and was moving northwest at a speed of 19 kph (12 mph). At that time, the storm was generating maximum sustained winds of 83 kph, with gusts of up to 102 kph. Current forecasts predict that Fani will continue to move northwest through the Bay of Bengal, and will intensify before making landfall in northeastern India and Bangladesh later this week.

Sri Lanka (Security threat level – 3): On 26 April 2019, police officers exchanged gunfire with militants in the eastern city of Sainthamaruthu, located in Ampara District, during a raid related to the 21 April bombings that killed approximately 250 people. Local sources stated that the militants initiated the gunbattle when they began shooting at the officers, who were conducting search operations in the area. Police officers exchanged gunfire with the militants for several hours, during which time three of them detonated explosives. At least 15 people, including three suspects in the 21 April attacks, were killed during the exchange. Approximately 600 locals fled the area during the raid.

AUSTRALASIA

Australia (Security threat level – 2): On 29 April 2019, the Australian Border Force (ABF) reported that a computer outage caused delays at several airports across Australia between 0600 and 1200 local time (2000 and 0200 UTC). The affected airports included Brisbane Airport (YBBN/BNE), Melbourne Airport (YMML/MEL) and Sydney Airport (YSSY/SYD). The outage affected electronic passport processing for both inbound and outbound passengers. ABF authorities advised passengers with scheduled international travel to arrive at these airports several hours early in anticipation of the delays. Although the outage was resolved, delays persisted throughout the day.

EUROPE

France (Security threat level – 3): On 27 April 2019, approximately 24,000 people took to the streets across France for the 24th consecutive weekend of “yellow vest” protests. While most demonstrations were peaceful, there were reports of violence in Strasbourg, where police officers fired tear gas after protesters gathered at the European Parliament building and threw rocks and other objects. In Paris, approximately 2,600 people participated in the French General Confederation of Labour (CGT) union protest; there were no reports of violence.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Mozambique (Security threat level – 3): As of 29 April 2019, Tropical Cyclone Kenneth has caused significant damage in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province after making landfall on 25 April. Heavy rains during Kenneth’s passage have triggered flooding along the Megaruma and Messalo rivers, affecting the Mecufi, Chiure, Muidumbe and Macomia districts. At least five people have been killed and an estimated 3,500 homes have been destroyed. Access to electricity remains disrupted in the affected areas, as authorities continue ongoing evacuation and rescue efforts.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Bangladesh (Security threat level – 4): On 28 April 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Bangladesh, which reads in part as follows:

  • “There have been recent media reports suggesting Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) interest in attacking targets in Bangladesh. We are not aware of any specific threat. Please remain vigilant, especially in public places.”
  • Burkina Faso (Security threat level – 4): On 26 April 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Burkina Faso issued a notice, which reads as follows:

  • “U.S. Embassy Burkina Faso is aware of an ongoing tender scam using the U.S. Embassy name to fraudulently request sample items or money. If your business receives a tender from a “Mr. Kerry Collins,” usa@embassytenders.com, info@embassytenders.com, info@embassytenders.com, or kerry@embassytenders.com please do not act on this request.”
  • Canada (Security threat level – 2): On 26 April 2019, the U.S. Consulate General in Montreal issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “The City of Montreal has declared a State of Emergency in response to rising flood waters.
  • “Actions to Take: Follow the directions of local authorities and monitor local news for updates.”
  • Canada (Security threat level – 2): On 26 April 2019, the U.S. Consulate General in Montreal issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Please be aware that on Wednesday, May 1st, 2019, a demonstration is scheduled to take place in Montreal between 6:30pm-9:30pm. Demonstrators will be gathering at Square Phillips (metro McGill) at 6:30pm and then marching towards the Golden Square Mile area of downtown.”
  • Colombia (Security threat level – 4): On 26 April 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá issued a Natural Disaster Alert, which reads in part as follows:

    “Location: Colombia, nationwide

  • “Event: Colombian authorities have issued landslide alerts for 10 of Colombia’s 32 administrative departments. Strong rain, electrical storms, and landslides are expected to continue throughout the month of May 2019. Landslides regularly cause fatalities and block major roads during the Colombian rainy season.”
  • Sierra Leone (Security threat level – 4): On 26 April 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Sierra Leone issued a Security Alert regarding Independence Day celebrations, which reads as follows:

  • “Location: Freetown, Countrywide
  • “Event: Independence Day celebrations will take place over the extended holiday weekend. Expect crowded conditions at public events.”
  • 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.