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EMERGING GLOBAL THREATS AND INDUSTRY CONCERNS: INCREASING REGIME OPPRESSION, THREATS FROM EXTREMISM, AND THE MEASURES TAKEN TO COUNTER THEM

William Adams

Jennifer Loy, Chief Editor

June 10, 2024


(The Weekly Threat Report is based on the Daily Threat Activity Reports from June 3 to June 9, 2024, here is a trend analysis of the threats this week.  The lists are in no particular order.)

Counterterrorism Operations by Country[1]


BLUF: The provided data reveals a concerning landscape of escalating conflicts, terrorist attacks, and security incidents worldwide, with the Middle East, Africa, and Asia being the most affected regions. The healthcare, education, and transportation industries face direct threats from violence and infrastructure damage, while the energy, agriculture, telecommunications, and mining sectors grapple with the consequences of attacks, natural disasters, and cybersecurity breaches. Forecasts indicate a high likelihood of continued instability, human rights abuses, and environmental challenges, underscoring the need for robust international cooperation and proactive measures to mitigate these multifaceted risks.


Based on the Daily Threat Activity Reports from June 3 to June 9, 2024, here is a trend analysis of the threats this week.


Top Threats of the Week:

1. There are ongoing terrorist attacks and violence in Africa, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Benin, resulting in numerous civilian casualties.


2. Russian forces continue to attack Ukraine, causing civilian injuries and damage to infrastructure across multiple regions.


3. Hostilities between Israel and Hamas in Gaza intensify as Israeli airstrikes kill dozens of Palestinians and Hamas fire rockets and drones into Israel.


4. Terrorist and militant attacks in India, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir and Manipur states, target security forces, civilians, and infrastructure.


5. Security incidents and attacks by various armed groups were reported in Syria, including ISIS cells, pro-Turkey factions, and clashes between regime forces and opposition groups.


6. Violent crime and attacks by drug cartels and armed groups continue in Mexico, targeting civilians, journalists, and local officials.


7. Attacks were reported in Pakistan, including targeted killings of minorities and clashes between militants and security forces.


8. Global cyberattacks and data breaches were reported, targeting government organizations, private companies, and individuals.


9. There was civil unrest, protests, and government crackdowns on dissent in countries such as Iran, Belarus, Russia, and Vietnam.


10. Natural disasters and hazards, including floods, landslides, and fires, affect multiple countries, resulting in casualties and displacement of people.


Top Countries of Concern:

1. Democratic Republic of Congo - Terrorist attacks by suspected Islamist rebels resulted in high civilian casualties.


2. Ukraine - Ongoing conflict with Russia, causes civilian injuries and damage to infrastructure across multiple regions.


3. Israel and Palestine - Escalating hostilities between Israel and Hamas in Gaza lead to numerous casualties on both sides.


4. Sudan - Violent clashes between paramilitary forces and the Sudanese army displace civilians and cause a humanitarian crisis.


5. India - Terrorist and militant attacks target security forces, civilians, and infrastructure, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir and Manipur states.


6. Syria - Security incidents and attacks by various armed groups, including ISIS cells and pro-Turkey factions, resulted in civilian casualties.


7. Mexico - Violent crime and attacks by drug cartels and armed groups continue to target civilians, journalists, and local officials.


8. Pakistan - Targeted killings of minorities and clashes between militants and security forces are destabilizing the country.


9. Russia - Government crackdowns on dissent, arrests, and imprisonment of activists, journalists, and opposition figures, highlighting political oppression.


10. Myanmar - Ongoing conflict between the military junta and opposition groups lead to civilian casualties and displacement.


Top Counterterrorism Actions of the Week:

1. Somali security forces conducted operations against Al-Shabaab militants in the Galgaduud region, killing several members of the terrorist group.


2. French authorities arrested a Ukrainian-Russian man on suspicion of planning a violent act and possession of explosive material and charged him with terror-related crimes.


3. The US imposed sanctions on the powerful Ecuadorian crime gang Los Lobos and its leader "Pipo" for their involvement in drug trafficking and violence.


4. The US Department of Justice dismantled a Sinaloa Cartel-linked fentanyl and methamphetamine distribution network, charging 47 alleged members and arresting 36 of them.


5. Interpol and the FBI cracked down on attempts in Moldova to sabotage the international police agency's Red Notice system, detaining four people in the country.


6. Russian forces launched a campaign in search of ISIS cells in the deserts of Deir Ezzor and Homs in Syria, with Russian warplanes targeting different areas in the desert.


7. The Internal Security Forces "Asayish" in Syria carried out security operations, freeing Yazidi women and girls who had been kidnapped by ISIS and arresting an ISIS member in Al-Hasakah province.


8. The Jammu and Kashmir administration in India dismissed four employees for their involvement in "anti-national" activities, including terror-related activities.


9. Manipur Police in India arrested two active members of proscribed militant outfits in separate operations, cracking down on insurgent activities in the region.


10. Security forces in India discovered and destroyed explosives found under plum orchards in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district.


Based on the information provided in the Daily Threat Activity Reports from June 3 to June 9, 2024, several industries appear to be impacted by the reported threats:


1. Healthcare

  • A hospital in Sudan's al-Fashir city shut down after an attack by paramilitary forces.

  • Tens of civilians, mostly children, were hospitalized in Al-Hasakah, Syria, after consuming non-potable water due to the water crisis.


2. Education

  • Primary students were killed and maimed by a bomb blast at a school in Myanmar.

  • Schools in Plainfield, Connecticut, USA, were locked down due to a potential gun threat.

  • A shooting at Garfield High School in Seattle, Washington, USA, left a teenage boy in serious condition.


3. Transportation

  • A fatal crash on the Pan-American Highway in Buenos Aires, Argentina caused one death and traffic disruptions.

  • A school bus in Syria fell into a river, resulting in 7 deaths and 20 injuries.

  • An attack on a bus carrying pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir, India, suspected to be carried out by terrorists, caused 9 deaths and 33 injuries.


4. Energy

  • An explosion at an LNG station near Yerevan, Armenia, injured seven people and caused a fire.

  • An explosion and subsequent fire at a retail store in Hudum, Romania, linked to work on the building's gas system, injured at least 13 people.


5. Agriculture

  • Mass fish deaths in Mexico's Chihuahua State due to severe drought, affects the fishing industry.

  • Shepherds in Homs desert, Syria, killed two members of ISIS in a retaliatory attack for the killing of their comrades and the recovery of their stolen herd of sheep.


6. Telecommunications

  • A cyberattack on the popular Japanese video-sharing website Niconico forced the suspension of its services.


7. Mining

  • A landslide at a rare earth mining site in Kachin State, Myanmar kill at least seven people and leaving at least 10 missing.


Based on the current threats reported in the Daily Threat Activity Reports from June 3 to June 9, 2024, the following forecast analysis of future threats can be made:


1. Conflict escalation in the Middle East

  • Continued hostilities between Israel and Hamas in Gaza will almost certainly lead to further casualties and damage to critical infrastructure, limiting the access for humanitarian aid to enter the country and worsening the humanitarian crisis.

  • Increased tensions and clashes are likely to continue between various armed groups in Syria, particularly in the Idlib and Deir Ezzor regions.

  • There is a roughly even chance of spillover of violence from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into neighboring countries, such as Lebanon or Jordan.


2. Instability in Africa

  • Ongoing terrorist attacks and violence will almost certainly continue in the Democratic Republic of Congo, particularly by suspected Islamist rebels.

  • Prolonged conflict will very likely worsen the humanitarian crisis and increase incidents of human rights abuses in Sudan due to clashes between paramilitary forces and the Sudanese army.

  • Continued attacks by militant groups in Nigeria will likely target civilians and infrastructure.


3. Cybersecurity threats

  • Cyberattacks will very likely increase in frequency and sophistication, targeting governments, critical infrastructure, and industries like media, to spread disinformation.

  • Exploitation of vulnerabilities in popular software and platforms, such as Visual Studio Code extensions will likely lead to data breaches and compromised systems.

  • The emergence of new state-sponsored cyber espionage and disinformation campaigns, particularly from countries like China and Russia are very likely, increasing polarization and mistrust of businesses and government institutions.


4. Political unrest and human rights concerns

  • Escalation of government crackdowns on dissent, protests, and opposition figures in countries such as Russia, Belarus, and Nicaragua very likely show a continued trend of political oppression, potential human rights violations, and future protests and civil unrest.

  • Arrests and imprisonment of journalists, activists, and critics in Vietnam, Iran, and other authoritarian regimes are very likely to continue.

  • Ongoing suppression of minority groups almost certainly increases the risk of human rights abuses in various countries, such as the targeted killings of Ahmadi community members in Pakistan.


5. Natural disasters and environmental challenges

  • Persistent drought conditions in Mexico will almost certainly lead to further mass fish deaths and ecological damage.

  • Recurrent flooding and heavy rainfall events in Australia will very likely cause flash floods, property damage, and evacuation orders.

  • Increased frequency and intensity of landslides are very likely in regions with mining activities or deforestation, such as Myanmar.

 

[1] Counterterrorism Operations, by William Adams, via Google Sheets

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