Weekly Analysis - 18 March

  • 18 Mar 2016 16:07

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 18 March.

To read the full pieces, sign up for a 30-day complimentary trial here or contact the team on GISEnquiries@rm.g4s.com

Cote d’Ivoire: AQIM attack on Grand-Bassam indicative of threat to French allies in West Africa

On the afternoon of 13 March, three militants from al-Mourabitoun, a branch of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), launched an assault on the Etoile du Sud, Koral Beach and La Paillote hotels in the seaside town of Grand-Bassam, killing 19 people. AQIM targeted the beach resort at around 1230hrs local time on a Sunday in a town that is a popular weekend destination for both Ivorian nationals and expatriates who live in Côte d'Ivoire’s economic capital Abidjan, just 40km to the north-west. At least six different nationalities were killed. A total of 11 Ivorians lost their lives, including three special forces soldiers who died in clashes with the militants, having reached the scene of the attack 45 minutes after it began. To read more, sign up here

Turkey:  Rising Kurdish militancy behind recent terrorist attacks

Recent developments suggest that internal dynamics within the Kurdish separatist movement are driving the recent spike in terrorist attacks in major Turkish cities. The evidence now suggests that our previous assessment of a direct Islamic State (IS) role in false flag attacks was wrong, and that Kurdish militants are now adopting tactics that more closely resemble those of the jihadists, despite the ideological gulf between the groups. With the war between the Turkish state and the Kurdish insurgency accelerating in the south-east, the threat of further car bombing attacks in Ankara, Istanbul and elsewhere will remain high. Attacks are most likely to target dense concentrations of Turkish police or soldiers, such as buses or crowds, and will cause deep damage to fragile inter-communal harmony. To read more, sign up here

Tunisia:  Ben Guerdane attack highlights continued threat posed by border insecurity

On 7 March, some 50 Islamic State (IS) fighters crossed the Libyan border and attacked security positions in the town of Ben Guerdane, resulting in at least 45 deaths. The attack highlights the critical vulnerabilities in Tunisia’s border security, as well as the threat posed by returned jihadist fighters. With IS militants’ presence in neighbouring Libya expanding, further attacks aimed at seizing control of border towns and villages are highly likely, raising the urgency with which the Tunisian government needs to address border security concerns. To read more, sign up here

Belgium: Continued counter-terror operations in Brussels highlight ongoing terror threat

French and Belgian security forces carried out a counter-terrorism raid on a flat in the southern Forest (Vorst) suburb of Brussels on 15 March. The raid, which was launched at around 1500hrs local time, resulted in the death of one suspect. The suspect was killed when the occupants of the flat on Rue de Dries opened fire on police, resulting in injuries to four officers. To read more, sign up here

Germany:  Berlin car bombing demonstrates escalating organised crime

On 15 March, a suspected car bombing killed one person in the western Charlottenburg district of central Berlin. The explosion occurred at around 0800hrs local time. Initial police assessments ruled out terrorism, suggesting the blast was linked to organised crime rivalry.  Berlin police spokesman Carsten Mueller said the blast occurred either on the inside or underneath the vehicle, with the explosion contained to a small area. There were no other injuries or casualties, indicating it was a targeted blast rather than an indiscriminate explosion aimed at causing mass injuries and panic. To read more, sign up here

Myanmar: Civilian president elected for first time in more than 50 years

On 15 March, Myanmar elected its first civilian president since 1962. Htin Kyaw, a close ally of Aung San Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy (NLD) party won an overwhelming mandate in historic elections in November 2015, received 360 of the 652 votes cast by members of the two houses of parliament. Myint Swe, a former general, and ethnic Chin candidate Henry Van Thio will serve as first vice-president and second vice-president respectively. Suu Kyi, herself an MP, was ineligible for nomination owing to a provision in the military-drafted 2008 constitution which prohibits anyone whose children are of another nationality to run for presidential office. As Suu Kyi’s children hold British passports, Kyaw was granted candidacy in her stead.To read more, sign up here

Brazil: Widespread protests increase pressure on Rousseff administration

On 13 March, approximately three million people marched across several Brazilian cities to protest against the government of President Dilma Rousseff. Although a number of anti-government demonstrations have taken place since 2013, the latest protests were the largest so far in terms of attendance and the number of cities involved, highlighting the widespread discontent with the government amid poor economic performance, high-profile corruption scandals and general mistrust in Brazilian institutions. To read more, sign up here

Iraq:  Anti-corruption drive steps up as political reform stalls

Influential Shi’a cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has called for mass sit-in protests outside the Green Zone in central Baghdad from 18 March to press for the implementation of anti-corruption measures promised by the government in 2015. Sadr has drawn tens of thousands of people in recent previous protests at Baghdad’s Tahrir Square and turnout on 18 March is expected to be in the tens of thousands. Sadr has called for protesters to remain at the protest site until 22 March, when his 45-day ultimatum to the government to reform expires. Having previously threatened to storm the Green Zone over anti-corruption demands, there is the potential for violent confrontations with security forces and disruption in downtown Baghdad. To read more, sign up here