Worldview Security Update – July 1, 2019
1-Jul-19

AMERICAS

United States (Security threat level – 2): At approximately 0900 local time (1400 UTC) on 30 June 2019, a Beechcraft BE-350 King Air crashed into a hangar during takeoff at Addison Airport (KADS/ADS), located on the northern outskirts of Dallas, Texas. The aircraft then caught on fire and was completely destroyed. All 10 individuals, including two crew members and eight passengers, aboard the private aircraft were killed in the crash. Two aircraft — a helicopter and a jet — inside the hangar sustained damage, but there were no other injuries. Flight operations at the airport were halted for approximately 45 minutes while firefighters deployed to the scene. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have launched a probe into the crash.

ASIA

Afghanistan (Security threat level – 5): On the morning of 1 July 2019, a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device was detonated near the Defense Ministry building, in Kabul’s diplomatic district, during rush hour. At least three gunmen subsequently retreated into a nearby building and engaged in a gunfight with security personnel. Authorities have cordoned off the surrounding area and reports of gunfire are ongoing. At least 10 people were killed and approximately 100 injured in the initial attack. The Taliban claimed responsibility and stated that the attack targeted the Ministry of Defense’s “logistics and engineering centers.”

China (Security threat level – 3): On 1 July 2019, protesters clashed with police officers in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai and Central districts during continued anti-extradition protests. Clashes first occurred when police officers fired pepper spray and used batons against protesters who attempted to disrupt a ceremony commemorating Hong Kong’s 1997 handover near Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai district. Thousands of protesters also blocked major roads in the city’s Wan Chai district and the Admiralty area, located in Central district, causing traffic disruptions. The protesters then marched in the Central district, where they broke into the Legislative Council Complex. Protesters used a metal cart and street signs to break windows and a small group entered the building, after which authorities ordered protesters to leave the building immediately. Demonstrators continue to occupy the building, although it is unclear how many remain inside or how police officers will respond to remove them.

EUROPE

Switzerland (Security threat level – 2): On 29 June 2019, police officers clashed with approximately 250 Cameroonian protesters outside the U.N. headquarters in Geneva. Police officers used water cannons, tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the protesters, who were attempting to approach the hotel where Cameroonian President Paul Biya was staying. Authorities had previously authorized the demonstrators to protest in the square outside the U.N. building; riot police officers employed crowd control measures when protesters suddenly moved toward the hotel, which is approximately 500 m (1,600 ft) away. No injuries or arrests were reported during the demonstration.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Libya (Security threat level – 5): As of 1 July 2019, Tripoli’s Mitiga International Airport (HLLM/MJI) — the capital’s only functioning airport — remains closed due to continuous airstrikes on the facility by the Libyan National Army (LNA). Authorities suspended airport operations on the previous day following an airstrike against the facility. No casualties have been reported from the strikes thus far.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Democratic Republic Of The Congo (Security threat level – 5): On 30 June 2019, security personnel clashed with demonstrators in several cities across the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), including in Kinshasa and Goma. In Kinshasa’s Masina municipality, police officers deployed tear gas at the opposition Lamuka coalition’s supporters who were attempting to escort a convoy that was transporting opposition leader Martin Fayulu and Prime Minister Adolphe Muzito along Boulevard Lumumba. Authorities claimed that the protesters threw objects at security personnel and injured one police officer; at least one protester was arrested. In the city’s Kasa-Vubu municipality, police officers blocked a protest march led by the president of the Front Social des Républicains Indépendants (FSIR) party. Meanwhile, in the northeastern city of Goma, police officers fired live rounds at protesters in the city’s Karisimbi municipality. At least one protester was killed and several others, including one police officer, were injured in the clashes in Goma. Police officers remained deployed in both cities to deter further protest activity. Authorities had banned protests on 30 June, which marks the country’s Independence Day.

Sudan (Security threat level – 5): On 30 June 2019, tens of thousands of demonstrators protested across Sudan, including in Khartoum and Omdurman. Security personnel fired live ammunition and tear gas to disperse protesters in Khartoum. Meanwhile, police officers deployed tear gas to disperse demonstrators in the northern city Atbara and in the eastern town Gadaref. At least seven protesters and two members of the security forces were reportedly killed in the unrest. The protests coincided with the 30th anniversary of the day that former President Omar al-Bashir took power in 1989 and followed a raid by security forces against the headquarters of the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA).

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Afghanistan (Security threat level – 5): On 1 July 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul issued a Security Alert for Mazar-e-Sharif, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan
  • “Event: As of early June 2019, militants plan to kidnap and murder United States citizens in Mazar-e-Sharif, Balkh Province, Afghanistan. The militants intend to kidnap the United States citizens from their homes in Mazar-e-Sharif.”
  • Ethiopia (Security threat level – 4): On 28 June 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa issued a Message, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Ethiopia
  • “Event: DSL internet connections have been restored in Addis Ababa, as of Friday, June 28, 2019. However, DSL internet outside of Addis Ababa is still turned off and cellular data and text messaging are disabled throughout the country.
  • “The U.S. Embassy will continue to prohibit travel outside of Addis Ababa for Embassy personnel at least until telecommunications are fully restored; the U.S. Embassy has no information on when this will take place.
  • “Embassy personnel in Addis Ababa are exercising normal security precautions and are no longer sheltering in place.
  • “Because of the telecommunications limitations and the Embassy’s travel restrictions, our ability to support U.S. citizens is limited, especially outside of Addis Ababa.”
  • Niger (Security threat level – 5): On 28 June 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Niamey issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Niamey, Niger
  • “Event: During the African Union (AU) Summit, host nation security forces will be implementing additional security measures that may affect movement throughout the city. Road closures and traffic disruptions are anticipated from July 3-10. Police checkpoints will be deployed throughout the city.
  • “The U.S. Embassy in Niger reminds U.S. citizens that terrorist groups continue plotting attacks throughout the country. Attacks may occur with little or no warning, targeting foreign and local government facilities, and areas frequented by large crowds.
  • “Areas with restricted access for the AU Summit will include, but are not limited to:

  • Radisson Blu
  • Palais des Congres
  • Gaweye Hotel
  • Sections of the Boulevard de la Republique
  • “Actions to Take:

  • Anticipate road closures and traffic disruptions from July 3-10.”
  • Tunisia (Security threat level – 3): On 30 June 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Tunis issued an Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Event: Due to security concerns, the U.S. Embassy will be closed to the public on Monday, July 1st, except for emergency services.”