Worldview Security Update – February 27, 2020
27-Feb-20

AMERICAS

United States (Security threat level – 2): At approximately 1400 local time (2000 UTC) on 26 February 2020, a 51-year-old local man opened fire on the corporate campus of Molson Coors Beverage Company, located west of downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The assailant, who was reportedly armed with two handguns, shot and killed five company personnel near the South Packaging building before committing suicide. Police officers responding to the shooting cordoned off the area near North 40th and West State streets, as well as a portion of Highway 175. Several businesses and schools in the area remained on lockdown through the late evening hours until police officials reported that there was no longer an active threat in the area. The perpetrator was reportedly an employee of the company; law enforcement officials have launched an investigation to determine the motive for the attack.

EUROPE

Greece (Security threat level – 3): On 26 February 2020, significant violence broke out between police officers and residents of the eastern Greek islands of Chios and Lesvos during a third consecutive day of demonstrations organized to protest government attempts to construct new migrant detention centers. In Chios, approximately 2,000 people participated in the demonstrations; a group of locals also broke into a hotel and attacked police officers. At least eight police officers were injured in the attack. Additional clashes occurred on the neighboring island of Lesvos, where more than 1,000 residents attempted to block a construction project. Police officers fired tear gas after protesters threw projectiles and attempted to gain access to the construction site. At least 43 police officers and 10 protesters were injured during the clashes on Lesvos. Government officials have ordered the withdrawal of most riot police officers from both islands in an effort to curb the violence.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Hungary (Security threat level – 2): On 26 February 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Budapest issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

“Location: Budapest, the march will begin near Gellert Hotel on the Buda side (district 11.), cross the Szabadság bridge, and proceed to Parliament (district 5.) passing through Szabadság tér (district 5.) in front of the Embassy. A counter demonstration will also take place near the beginning point of the march.

“Event: On Sunday, March 1st, from 14:00 to 20:00, a march commemorating the 100th anniversary of Miklós Horthy’s election will occur. The march will begin near Gellert Hotel on the Buda side, cross the Szabadság bridge, and proceed to Parliament passing through Szabadság tér in front of the Embassy. A counter demonstration will also take place near the beginning point of the march. The activities are properly registered with the Hungarian National Police and they will provide security.”

Kenya (Security threat level – 4): On 27 February 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:

“Location: Nairobi

“Event: Terrorist groups may be plotting an attack against a major hotel in Nairobi. The exact hotel has not been identified, but it is believed to be a hotel popular with tourists and business travelers.”

Analyst Comment: Travelers and expatriates in Nairobi — and across Kenya more generally — should expect increased security in light of the threat notice. In the past, Somalia-based al-Shabab militants have frequently threatened to carry out attacks targeting prominent sites in Nairobi, including hotels. Such threats are in line with the overall threat pattern in Kenya, where terrorism is a significant concern.

Mongolia (Security threat level – 1): On 26 February 2020, the U.S. Department of State raised the Travel Advisory for Mongolia to “Level 3: Reconsider Travel” from “Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions” due to transportation restrictions imposed by the Mongolian government in an effort to curb the potential spread of COVID-19 in Mongolia. The updated advisory reads in part as follows:

“Reconsider Travel in Mongolia due to travel and transport restrictions related to Mongolia’s response to an outbreak in the neighboring People’s Republic of China of COVID-19.

“On February 25, 2020, the Department of State allowed for the voluntary departure of non-emergency U.S. Government employees and their family members due to travel, transport, and other restrictions related to Mongolia’s response to an outbreak in the neighboring People’s Republic of China of COVID-19 (the “novel coronavirus,” also known as the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2).

“There is an ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 in the People’s Republic of China, excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau. The virus originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, but cases have been confirmed throughout the People’s Republic of China and elsewhere in the region.

“As of February 25, 2020, no COVID-19 cases have been found in Mongolia, but the country’s health system continues to be taxed by normal seasonal illnesses. Hospital capacity in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, continues to decrease, and travel restrictions may impede those people seeking medical evacuation. Travelers should consider these factors and their health before traveling to Mongolia and follow the Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines for the prevention of coronavirus if they decide to travel.”

The full text of the advisory, which outlines a number of precautionary measures announced by the Mongolian government, can be found here .

South Africa (Security threat level – 4): On 27 February 2020, the U.S. Consulate in Johannesburg issued a Demonstration Alert for protests planned for 28 February, which reads in part as follows:

“Location: Sandton

“Event: A demonstration is expected in Sandton on Friday, February 28, from approximately 9:00AM – 3:00PM. Protesters will march from Innesfree Park to Megawatt Park in Sunninghill. Roads impacted by the march include (but are not limited to): Katherine St, Grayston Dr, Rivonia Rd, and Witkoppen Rd.”

South Korea (Security threat level – 2): On 26 February 2020, the U.S. Department of State issued an updated Travel Advisory for South Korea, increasing the level of advice to “Level 3: Reconsider Travel” from “Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution.” The advisory reads in part as follows:

“Reconsider travel to South Korea due to an outbreak of COVID-19. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

“A novel coronavirus is causing an outbreak of COVID-19 in South Korea. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization determined the COVID-19 outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The South Korean government has reported cases of the COVID-19 in the country and has upgraded its response level to “grave”, its highest response level. On February 24, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 3 Travel Warning ­ Avoid Non-essential Travel for South Korea . Travelers should review and follow the Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines for the prevention of coronavirus if they decide to travel to South Korea. If suspected to have COVID-19 (coronavirus) in South Korea, you may face travel delays, quarantine, and extremely expensive medical costs.

“If you travel to South Korea, the Centers for Disease Control recommends individuals take the following steps:

Avoid contact with sick people.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

Discuss travel to South Korea with your healthcare provider. Older adults and travelers with chronic medical conditions may be at risk for more severe disease.

Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.

It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.

“If you spent time in South Korea during the past 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing the Center for Disease Control recommends individuals:

Seek medical advice. Call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel to South Korea, and your symptoms.

Avoid contact with others.

Do not travel while sick.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.

Clean your hands by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.”

The full text of the advisory can be found here .