Worldview Security Update – June 18, 2019
18-Jun-19

AMERICAS

Canada (Security threat level – 2): Shortly before 1600 local time (2000 UTC) on 17 June 2019, a shooting occurred near Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square amid a large-scale parade that was organized to celebrate the Toronto Raptors’ recent victory in the world basketball championship. The sound of gunfire caused panic and prompted paradegoers to flee the scene. At least two people suffered non-life threatening wounds in the shooting. Police officers have arrested two suspected perpetrators and seized two firearms. An investigation into the shooting remains underway.

United States (Security threat level – 2): Shortly before 0900 local time (1400 UTC) on 17 June 2019, a 22-year-old gunman exchanged fire with Federal Protective Service officers outside the Earle Cabell Federal Building in downtown Dallas, Texas. Video footage showed that the perpetrator, who had briefly served in the U.S. Army, was armed with a military-grade assault rifle and dressed in black tactical gear — including a bulletproof vest – when he opened fire on the police officers outside the court premises. The officers returned fire and wounded the gunman; he was later declared dead at a hospital. No other serious injuries occurred during the incident; however, the building sustained minor damage. Following the shooting, a bomb squad examined and carried out a controlled detonation of a suspicious device attached to the gunman’s vehicle, which was parked on a nearby street. Vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the city center area was disrupted until the afternoon and a nearby community college was placed on lockdown. Authorities have launched an investigation to determine a possible motive for the man’s actions.

ASIA

China (Security threat level – 3): As of 18 June 2019, recovery efforts are ongoing following a 5.8 magnitude earthquake that struck China’s Sichuan province on 17 June at approximately 2255 local time (1455 UTC). According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the quake was centered approximately 20 km (12 mi) south-southeast of Changning and occurred at a depth of 10 km. At least one 5.2 magnitude aftershock was reported near the initial quake’s epicenter. Authorities evacuated an estimated 4,000 people from the nearby city of Yibin, where a large number of structures were damaged or destroyed. At least 12 people have been confirmed as dead and more than 130 people have been reported as injured. Search and rescue efforts are currently ongoing.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Egypt (Security threat level – 4): On 17 June 2019, Egypt’s interior minister placed security forces on high alert after former President Muhammad Morsi died of a heart attack during his trial on espionage charges. Reports indicate the minister has canceled leave for security personnel and has increased security around hotels, tourist sites and other sensitive locations.

Analyst Comment: It is unclear what effect — if any — Morsi’s death will have on the opposition. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi maintains a highly repressive security apparatus that has stifled most forms of dissent in Egypt. Furthermore, Morsi was a divisive figure and his popularity was limited even among his supporters. Nevertheless, travelers should monitor developments in the country regarding possible demonstrations or revenge attacks by Morsi and/or Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Albania (Security threat level – 3): On 18 June 2019, the U.S. Embassy on Tirana issued a Demonstration Alert for 21 June, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Gathering points include, but are not limited to, the following areas in Albania:
  • Parliament Building (Tirana)
  • Prime Minister’s Office (Tirana)
  • Other government buildings (Tirana)
  • “Event: A large demonstration is expected to take place near the Prime Minister’s Office on Friday, June 21, 2019, beginning around 8:00 p.m. The group intends to demonstrate against the Albanian government and may move to different locations in Tirana. The duration of the expected demonstration is unknown. Recent demonstrations have included violence. Security forces have used water cannons and tear gas to disperse crowds.
  • “U.S. Embassy personnel and family members have been directed to avoid all gathering points and locations where demonstrations are imminent or ongoing.”
  • 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.