Worldview Security Update – July 18, 2019
18-Jul-19

AMERICAS

Puerto Rico (Security threat level – 2): On 17 July 2019, thousands of protesters marched in San Juan to call for Governor Ricardo Rosselló’s resignation. Demonstrators gathered outside the capitol building and the governor’s residence throughout the evening and clashed with police officers on two occasions. Protesters first clashed with security personnel at approximately 2330 local time (0330 UTC on 18 July), when a group of demonstrators broke through a police cordon outside the governor’s residence. Police officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the protesters, who threw various objects — including firecrackers — at police officers. Security personnel and demonstrators clashed for a second time at approximately 0100 when protesters attempted to march to Calle Fortaleza. Sixteen people were injured, including four police officers. Additionally, police officers arrested seven people. Protests have broken out across Puerto Rico since 13 July in response to the leak of private chat conversations between Rosselló and his Cabinet that contained profanities and derogatory comments about various officials and critics of the administration.

ASIA

Afghanistan (Security threat level – 5): On 18 July 2019, militants detonated a car bomb outside the police headquarters in Kandahar. Gunmen have entered the surrounding buildings and a gunfight between security forces and the militants is ongoing. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

China / Japan / South Korea / Taiwan (Security threat levels – 3 / 1 / 2 / 2): According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, as of 0900 UTC on 18 July 2019, Tropical Storm Danas was located approximately 320 km (200 mi) west-southwest of the United States’ Kadena Air Force Base, located in Okinawa, Japan. At that time, the storm was moving north at a speed of 33 kph (21 mph) and producing maximum sustained winds of 74 kph with higher gusts, as well as waves up to 6 m (20 ft) in height. Danas is forecast to pass over Jeju Island, South Korea, late on 19 July and make landfall near South Jeolla province early on 20 July. Danas is expected to produce heavy rain and strong winds over southeastern China and west and central Japan. Taiwanese authorities have issued a warning for high waves along the country’s eastern coast. Meanwhile, officials in Japan’s Okinawa prefecture have issued warnings for storm surges and high waves for its southern and western islands.

Japan (Security threat level – 1): At approximately 1030 local time (0130 UTC) on 18 July 2019, a man set fire to the studio of Kyoto Animation — a popular animation production company — in Kyoto. At least 33 people were killed, while 36 others — including the suspected arsonist — were injured in the blaze, according to Japanese fire officials. Police officers also discovered knives at the scene. Authorities have not yet determined the motive for the attack, but the president of Kyoto Animation stated that the studio had received threatening emails in the past.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Democratic Republic Of The Congo (Security threat level – 5): On 17 July 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).” A WHO official stated that the declaration should not prompt the implementation of restrictions on trade or travel, and that authorities should not begin to screen passengers at airports or other ports of entry outside the immediate region. WHO voted to declare the epidemic a global health emergency following the detection of the first Ebola case in Goma, a major commercial and transport hub. At least 1,600 people have died in the outbreak, which began in August 2018.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Algeria (Security threat level – 4): On 18 July 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued an update to its travel advice for Algeria, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Algeria is in the final of the African Cup of Nations football tournament, being held in Egypt. The final takes place at 8pm local time Friday 19 July. Large crowds are expected in central Algiers and other major cities. You should follow local advice.”
  • Costa Rica (Security threat level – 3): On 18 July 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Costa Rica, which reads in part as follows:

  • “There has been disruption to local travel due to protests by various groups opposed to certain Government policies. These have taken place in different locations around the country, at times affecting

    Dominican Republic (Security threat level – 3): On 17 July 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Areas surrounding the Palace of Congress, Supreme Court and other government buildings in Santo Domingo and within the Dominican Republic.
  • “Event: The Dominican Republic has entered the candidate selection stage for presidential elections, scheduled for May 17, 2020. During previous election cycles, large crowds of people have gathered in support of, or to protest against, policies or candidates. Recent political demonstrations have involved the use of tear gas. Such events have the potential to grow and become violent.
  • “U.S. government personnel and others living in or visiting the Dominican Republic are advised to be alert for, and to avoid the immediate area of, any protests.”
  • 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.