Weekly Analysis 19th February

  • 19 Feb 2016 12:06

The G4S Risk Analysis team produces weekly risk analysis pieces on current events pertinent to security and business operations. Please see below for excerpts of our weekly analysis for the week ending 19 February.


Turkey: Government ignores likely Islamic State role in Ankara bombing 

On 17 February, at least 28 people were killed and a further 60 others injured when a car bomb detonated in the centre of Ankara, close to the main parliament building, government offices and the country’s military headquarters. Initial assessments suggest the bombing was either timed to target a passing military convoy or was a suicide attack. No group has claimed responsibility, but Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu reports that a Syrian Kurd named Salih Necard carried out the attack, with nine other people arrested since the bombing. Davutoglu claims Necard is a member of the People's Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia currently fighting Islamic State (IS) inside Syria. To read more, sign up here

Argentina:  Macri makes offer to controversial holdout creditors 

Argentina’s long and controversial legal battle with holders of un-restructured debt is on its way to being solved. Just two months after President Mauricio Macri was sworn into office, he has made an offer to pay up to USD 6.5 billion to holdout creditors, representing a more generous deal that highlights the Macri administration’s efforts to restore Argentina’s financial credibility after years of market-unfriendly policies. Although Macri’s latest offer is likely to be challenged by the most aggressive holdout investors, as well as by the opposition in Congress, Argentina is the closest it has been in almost a decade to returning to international financial markets. To read more, sign up here

Afghanistan: US troops deployed to Helmand amid deteriorating security 

On 8 February, the US military announced that troops are to be deployed to Helmand province, where beleaguered government forces are at risk of being overrun by Taliban fighters. The deployment will be the largest of its kind since NATO combat operations came to an end in 2014, with an infantry battalion consisting of an estimated 500 troops anticipated to begin operations in less than two weeks. The battalion will not engage in active combat, however. Rather, troops will provide training, advice and assistance to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), bolstering their capacity to counter the Taliban insurgency across the province.  To read more, sign up here

Syria: Turkey targets Kurdish militia amid fears of growing proxy war with Russia 

The Turkish military has continued shelling Kurdish targets in northern Syria, insisting that it will not allow the strategic city of Azaz in northern Syria to fall to Kurdish forces. Turkey began shelling the area on 13 February, targeting the US-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), and demanding that the Kurdish militia group withdraw from the areas it has captured in northern Aleppo in February 2016. There are fears that the conflict in northern Aleppo province will see a further escalation in the proxy war between Russia and Turkey as tensions between the two escalate, leaving the US and other Western powers stuck between NATO ally Turkey and Russia. To read more, sign up here

China:  Chinese bank raided in Madrid over money laundering and tax fraud 

Spain’s national police have raided the Madrid offices of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) as they investigate alleged money laundering and tax fraud by Chinese criminal groups. Both the Spanish tax authority and Europol took part in the raids, with five senior directors of the bank arrested over allegations of smuggling, tax fraud and workers’ rights violations. According to the police, they have discovered some USD 44 million in undeclared money-laundering via ICBC, which allegedly sent the funds to China without checking their origin, as required by law. ICBC says its Madrid branch is actively cooperating with the investigation. To read more, sign up here

Mali:  Kidnap risk remains extant as AQIM capitalises on regional chaos 

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has resurged in the Sahel region since November 2015, claiming responsibility for at least three attacks in the region targeting foreign, particularly Western, personnel. In addition, three Western hostages have been seized; a Swiss woman from Timbuktu on 8 January and an octogenarian couple from Baraboule in Burkina Faso, near the borders with Mali and Niger, on 15 January. Kidnap-for-ransom is one of AQIM’s main sources of income, but opportunities to abduct high-value Western hostages have declined amid a deteriorating security environment deterring tourists. However, recent unrest and chronic border insecurity in the surrounding region has allowed AQIM to re-group and it now appears set on raising funds via its old sources. To read more, sign up here