Worldview Security Update – June 12, 2019
12-Jun-19

ASIA

China (Security threat level – 3): As planned, a large-scale demonstration to protest against a proposed extradition bill is ongoing in central Hong Kong on 12 June 2019. Heavy traffic disruptions are ongoing throughout Central District, including in Admiralty. Groups of demonstrators are currently gathered throughout Central, including in the vicinity of the Legislative Council building. Tens of thousands of demonstrators occupied Tim Mei and Tim Wa avenues and erected metal barricades on Lung Wo and Harcourt roads. Road closures are also in effect along portions of Harcourt Road, Yiu Sing Street and Queensway in Central. Moreover, authorities closed Admiralty MTR station at 2030 local time (1230 UTC). Meanwhile, police officers fired tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray at protesters who attempted to storm the Legislative Council building. While demonstrators retreated from the Legislative Council building following the security personnel’s use of force, protesters in the city refused to disperse after authorities announced the indefinite postponement of the reading of the bill; the reading of the bill was scheduled to begin on 12 June. Authorities also stated that they have ruled out imposing a curfew or asking the People’s Liberation Army to assist.

India (Security threat level – 3): According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, as of 0900 UTC on 12 June 2019, Tropical Cyclone Vayu was located approximately 775 km (482 mi) south-southeast of Karachi, Pakistan. At that time, the storm was moving north-northwest at 15 kph (9 mph) and was generating maximum sustained winds of 167 kph, with gusts up to 204 kph. Vayu is currently expected to pass along the western coast of Gujarat state early on 13 June. Authorities in Gujarat plan to evacuate at least 300,000 people from coastal areas in anticipation of heavy rainfall.

EUROPE

Sweden (Security threat level – 2): Early on 12 June 2019, a large explosion occurred at an apartment building in Malmö’s Rosengård district. Police officers responded to the blast and cordoned off the area. No injuries or fires were reported, but the explosion caused damage to a nearby apartment building. The explosion is the third in Malmö since 10 June, when two explosions occurred; one took place in a stairwell in Rosengård and the other at a nightclub near Central Station. Police officers are investigating a possible connection between the explosions, but suspect that organized crime is behind the incidents.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Saudi Arabia (Security threat level – 3): On 12 June 2019, Houthi forces carried out an attack on Abha International Airport (OEAB/AHB), located approximately 830 km (515 mi) southwest of Riyadh and about 100 km north of the Yemeni border. Saudi officials stated that a projectile struck the airport’s arrivals hall. According to Saudi authorities, 26 people of various nationalities were injured in the attack, eight of whom were admitted to a hospital. At approximately 1300 local time (1000 UTC), airport officials announced that flight operations at the facility are proceeding normally. The Saudi-led coalition confirmed the attack several hours after reports by the Houthi-controlled Al-Masirah TV that Houthi forces had launched a cruise missile at Abha International Airport.

Analyst Comment: Houthi militia forces have targeted aviation facilities in Saudi Arabia in the past. For example, on 11 June, Saudi air defenses intercepted two Houthi drones targeting King Khalid military airbase (OEKM/KMX), located near the city of Khamis Mushait. Saudi officials stated that they were investigating the projectile used in the attack.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Democratic Republic Of The Congo (Security threat level – 5): On 12 June 2019, demonstrations continued in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for the third consecutive day over critical remarks made against President Félix Tshisekedi at a recent National Assembly meeting. In Kinshasa, police officers in the Limete municipality fired tear gas at Tshisekedi supporters who vandalized the headquarters of the Congolese National Congress (CNC) party, located on Boulevard Lumumba. Police officers arrested four protesters. Elsewhere in the capital, supporters of Tshisekedi and supporters of former President Joseph Kabila threw stones at each other at the intersection of Boulevard Sendwe and Avenue Kasa-vubu near the Palais du Peuple in the Kalamu commune. Police officers fired warning shots and tear gas to disperse the crowd; there were reports of property damage, but no injuries. Elsewhere in the country, Tshisekedi supporters held a peaceful demonstration in Kisangani (Tshopo province) and Lubumbashi (Haut-Katanga province).

Uganda (Security threat level – 4): On 12 June 2019, heath officials announced the death of a patient who tested positive for Ebola virus in Uganda’s western Kasese district. The patient marks the first transnational Ebola case since health officials declared an outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where 1,400 confirmed and probable Ebola-related deaths have occurred since August 2018. The patient’s sibling and grandmother also tested positive for the virus and are in isolation at the Bwera Hospital Ebola Treatment Unit. On 14 June Uganda’s Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) will begin vaccinating all persons who came in contact with the Ebola patients and frontline health workers.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

British Virgin Islands (Security threat level – 1): On 12 June 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for the British Virgin Islands, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Buju Banton will be performing in the British Virgin Islands over the weekend of Friday 14 to Sunday 16 June 2019 as part of his ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ tour. Large numbers of visitors are expected in the Territory and large crowds at event locations.”
  • Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On 11 June 2019, the U.S. Department of State updated its Travel Advisory for Haiti and lowered its level of advice to “Level 3: Reconsider Travel.” The advisory reads in part as follows:

  • “Reconsider travel to Haiti due to crime, civil unrest, and kidnapping.
  • “Protests, tire burning, and road blockages are frequent and unpredictable. Violent crime, such as armed robbery, is common, and incidents of kidnapping have occurred. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents, and emergency response, including ambulance service, is limited or non-existent.
  • “Travelers are sometimes targeted, followed, and violently attacked and robbed shortly after leaving the Port-au-Prince international airport. The U.S. Embassy requires its personnel to use official transportation to and from the airport, and it takes steps to detect surveillance and deter criminal attacks during these transports.”
  • 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.