Worldview Security Update – September 12, 2019
12-Sep-19

ASIA

China (Security threat level – 3): A number of demonstrations are set to take place in Hong Kong from 13-15 September 2019. On 13 September celebrations for the Mid-Autumn Festival will occur throughout the city. Protesters plan to demonstrate during the evening hours, including in Sham Shui Po, Tai Po, Tsuen Wan, Hung Hom and To Kwa Wan districts. However, protests are probable in other areas as well.

Several actions are planned for 14 September, including an additional "stress test," which will be held in an attempt to disrupt transportation to and from Hong Kong International Airport (VHHH/HKG). In addition, secondary students plan to rally in Edinburgh Place in Central district and at Temple Mall in Wang Tai Sin district. It remains unknown whether authorities have approved the rallies. A family march is also planned in Tin Shui Wai district from Tin Sau Road Park to Tin Shui Wai MTR station; however, officials have reportedly denied permission for the protest. Nevertheless, the march could occur, as previous protest bans have not prevented demonstrators from rallying.

Beginning at 1430 local time (0630 UTC) on 15 September, the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) plans to hold a protest march from East Point road in Causeway Bay to Chater road in Central. Previous CHRF demonstrations have had turnouts in excess of 1 million attendees, and high turnout is likely. Authorities announced on 12 September that they will ban the protest due to violence at previous demonstrations, but the CHRF has stated that it would appeal the decision in response.

EUROPE

United Kingdom (Security threat level – 2): As of 12 September 2019, activists from Heathrow Pause — a faction of the Extinction Rebellion environmental protest group — plan to disrupt flight operations at London Heathrow Airport (EGLL/LHR) on 13 September. The group stated that it would shut down the airport using drones in the airport’s exclusion zone beginning at 0300 local time (0200 UTC). The group also stated that it would give notice of one hour before additional drone flights. Police officers are working with airport officials to minimize disruptions and have warned activists not to fly the drones into the 5 km (3 mi) exclusion zone surrounding the airport. The group is protesting the addition of a third runway to the airport, citing environmental concerns from increased aircraft activity.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Kenya (Security threat level – 4): At approximately 1330 local time (1030 UTC) on 11 September 2019, a group of three gunmen robbed an aircraft that was parked at Lower Moyale Airport (HKMY/OYL), located approximately 20 km (12 mi) south of Moyale, near the Ethiopian border. One of the assailants reportedly held the aircraft’s occupants — a pilot, copilot and a banking cash officer — at gunpoint while two others stole two bags of money. The assailants then fled the scene by motorcycle. The aircraft was transporting an undisclosed sum of money from the capital Nairobi to a regional bank in Moyale. Authorities are investigating the robbery and questioning the aircraft’s crew. Police officers have not made any arrests in connection with the heist thus far.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Bulgaria (Security threat level – 3): On 11 September 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Sofia issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:
“Location: Protests are expected to occur in downtown Sofia throughout the remainder of the week at the following locations:

  • On Wednesday, September 11, beginning at 5pm, demonstrations are expected in the city center, near the Council of Ministers (Independence Square), by protestors supporting the election of the new Chief Prosecutor.
  • On Wednesday, September 11, between 3pm and 10 pm, healthcare professionals will be holding demonstrations in the city center, near the National Assembly (Serdika metro area/downtown center/Nevski Cathedral area).
  • On Thursday, September 12, beginning at 2pm, demonstrations are expected in the city center, near the Council of Ministers (Independence Square), by protestors supporting the election of the new Chief Prosecutor.
  • On Thursday, September 12, beginning at 3pm, demonstrations are expected in the city center, near the Court Palace, by protestors opposing the election of the new Chief Prosecutor.

“Additionally, each day this week protestors may also gather on Tsaridgradsko Shose Boulevard (near the intersection for Jumbo and Praktiker), between 6 pm and 9 pm, to protest the local municipality.”

Cuba (Security threat level – 2): On 11 September 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Cuba, which reads in part as follows: "UK health authorities have classified Cuba as having a risk of dengue, and Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice, visit the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre website . You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes . "

Spain (Security threat level – 3): On 12 September 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Spain, which reads in part as follows: "Spain’s meteorological agency (AEMET) has issued an “extreme risk” weather warning for the regions of Valencia, Alicante, Murcia and Almeria for 12 and 13 September due to forecasted torrential rain. Flash floods may occur and could cause disruption and delays to transport services. If you’re in these areas, you should follow the advice of local authorities."