Daily Security Alerts

Snapshot of Today's Events

Friday, May 26, 2017

Hot Spots will not be published on Monday, 29 May, in observance of the Memorial Day holiday in the United States. Hot Spots will resume on Tuesday, 30 May.

Contents

AMERICAS

  • Brazil

ASIA

  • Afghanistan
  • Pakistan

EUROPE

  • Italy

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

  • Egypt

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

  • Bahrain
  • Cambodia
  • Indonesia
  • Kuwait
  • Nicaragua
  • Nigeria

Hot Spots Report

AMERICAS

Brazil (Security threat level - 3): On 25 May 2017, President Michel Temer revoked his decision to mobilize federal troops in Brasilia after he faced strong criticism for deploying them to protect federal buildings following violent protests on 24 May. Critics called his decision to mobilize troops an “unnecessary” and “excessive” decision, which they claimed further reinforced his inability to govern. The use of troops in Brasilia is a sensitive issue due to memories of the country’s military rule from 1964 to 1985. There were no troops visible in Brasilia by late 25 May.

ASIA

Afghanistan (Security threat level - 5): Suspected Taliban insurgents staged a rocket attack on 25 May 2017 against the northern city of Kunduz. As of 1300 local time (0830 UTC), the militants had fired at least nine rockets, and the attack was ongoing. As of last report, at least one person was killed and nine other people were injured when a round hit the Shir Khan High School. Government forces were conducting operations in the Chahardara district and the Band-e-Khanabad area, from where they believed the rockets were being fired. The Taliban also attacked security checkpoints along the Kunduz-Takhar highway, closing the road to traffic.

Analyst Comment: As is the case in the rest of Afghanistan, security conditions are poor in Kunduz, and the threat of Taliban attacks is consistently very high. However, sustained rockets attacks such as the one on 25 May are not as common. It remains to be seen whether this is part of a Taliban effort to capture the city, which they seized temporarily on two previous occasions in the past two years.
Pakistan (Security threat level - 5): On 26 May 2017, police officers clashed with protesting farmers in the D-Chowk roundabout, located near Pakistan’s National Assembly in Islamabad. Police officers fired tear gas canisters and water cannons to disperse the farmers; the protesters threw stones at the officers in response. City bus service was temporarily suspended in the area during the clashes, and businesses and offices in the vicinity closed down. The farmers, associated with Pakistan Kissan Ittehad (PKI), staged the protest action just outside the capital’s Red Zone, where all gatherings and demonstrations are prohibited. The protesters were demanding subsidies for fertilizer and electricity bills, hours ahead of a scheduled parliamentary debate on the government’s budget proposal.

EUROPE

Italy (Security threat level - 3): Italian air traffic controllers and some Alitalia employees plan to go on a nationwide strike on 28 May 2017, the day after a Group of Seven (G-7) summit ends in Taormina, Sicily. The air traffic controllers will strike from 1300 to 1700 local time (1100 to 1500 UTC), while the Alitalia employees will strike from 1000 to 1800 local time. Flight delays and cancellations for multiple airlines are expected. Alitalia has already canceled multiple domestic and international flights, and rebooked the affected passengers on other flights. Other airlines that the strike will affect include, but are not limited to, British Airways and EasyJet. Travelers should remain alert to potential changes in their flight plans prior to departure.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Egypt (Security threat level - 4): On 26 May 2017, unidentified gunmen attacked a bus that was carrying Coptic Christians in Minya province, which is located approximately 220 km (140 mi) south of Cairo. Eyewitness reports indicate that between eight and 12 armed assailants wearing masks and military clothing approached the bus in four-wheel drive vehicles and opened fire on the passengers. The attackers fled the scene. The attack occurred as the bus was en route to St. Samuel Monastery. At least 26 people were killed and 23 others were injured. No group has claimed responsibility as of yet.

Analyst Comment: This latest attack demonstrates the reach of jihadi militants in Egypt. The attack is consistent with Islamic State (IS) attacks on Christians in other parts of Egypt, including bomb attacks on churches in Alexandria, Cairo and Tanta, along with assassinations in the North Sinai governorate

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Bahrain (Security threat level - 3): On 26 May 2017, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued an update to its travel advice for Bahrain, which reads in part as follows: “There have been civil disturbances across the country during the evenings of 24 and 25 May 2017, following a security operation in the vicinity of Diraz on 23 May; there's a possibility of further civil disturbances and protests; you should follow the advice of the local authorities and if you encounter a large demonstration, protest or any civil disturbances, leave the area immediately.”

Cambodia (Security threat level - 3): On 25 May 2017, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued an update to its travel advice for Cambodia, which reads in part as follows: “Local elections will be held on 4 June 2017; it’s possible that political tensions will increase in the run-up to the election in June as political parties step up their campaigning; monitor local media closely and avoid all protests and demonstrations as they could turn violent.”

Indonesia (Security threat level - 4): On 25 May 2017, the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta issued a Security Message, which reads in part as follows: “According to Indonesian authorities, at approximately 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24, a suicide bomb attack targeting police occurred near a bus station in Kampung Melayu in East Jakarta. There were a number of people killed and wounded. No foreign nationals were among the casualties.

“All U.S. citizen visitors or residents in Indonesia should review their personal security plans, take appropriate steps to enhance their personal security, and exercise caution in large gatherings. U.S. citizens are encouraged to monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities. Specific safety concerns should be addressed to Indonesian law enforcement authorities who are responsible for the safety of all visitors to Indonesia.”

Kuwait (Security threat level - 2): On 25 May 2017, the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait issued a Security Message regarding Ramadan, which reads in part as follows: "As noted in our Worldwide Caution, terrorist groups remain intent on targeting U.S. citizens, our allies, and our interests. Terrorist groups have launched attacks during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in the past. The U.S. government remains highly concerned about possible attacks against U.S. citizens, facilities, businesses, places of worship, and perceived U.S. and western interests in the region and worldwide.

"While we are not aware of specific threats against private U.S. citizens in Kuwait, we encourage citizens to take steps to enhance their safety and security. U.S. citizens should maintain a high level of vigilance, review personal security plans, and remain alert to their surroundings at all times. The following are common sense measures you and your family can take to increase your personal safety and security:

  • "Stay informed. Monitor the media for the latest security developments.
  • "Avoid crowds. Large gatherings can quickly become dangerous.
  • "Keep a low profile.
  • "Be aware of how others dress and behave in public and try to blend in.
  • "Vary your routes and times of travel. Being less predictable makes you more difficult to target.
  • "Be aware of your surroundings. Understand what “belongs” and what does not.
  • "Avoid traveling alone. Avoid isolated areas, especially after dark. Tell friends, colleagues, or neighbors where you’re going and when you intend to return.
  • "Know where you are going and your destination. Find exits and have a plan to escape. Select “safe havens” along your route, such as government buildings, friends’ residences, shops or restaurants, or gas stations.
  • "Always carry a charged cell phone. Make sure you have programmed emergency numbers in all your family members’ phones.
  • "Turn off location services on your cell phone or other devices. Hackers can use those features to learn your location.
  • "Never post or otherwise broadcast your location or where you are going. Only tell people where you have been, after you have departed.
  • "Be prepared to postpone or cancel activities.
  • "Report concerns you may have to the police and to the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait."
Nicaragua (Security threat level - 3): On 25 May 2017, the U.S. Embassy in Managua issued the following Security Message: “The U.S. Embassy in Managua advises U.S. citizens that the Government of Nicaragua declared a state of emergency related to malaria in the Autonomous Region of the Northern Caribbean Coast (RACCN by its acronym in Spanish) due to a marked increase in cases, primarily in Bilwi, Rosita, and Waspam. U.S. citizens traveling in that area should consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for preventive measures, which include using mosquito repellent and possibly taking a prophylactic medication.”

Nigeria (Security threat level - 5): On 25 May 2017, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Nigeria, which reads as follows: “Secessionists calling for an independent state in the south-east have called on supporters to stay at home on 30 May 2017. Previous similar protests have seen widespread closure of businesses. There may also be public demonstrations and protests on the days around 30 May 2017. There were outbreaks of violence the cities of Aba in Abia State and Onitsha in Anambra State during previous protests by secessionists. Be especially vigilant in Abia State, Anambra State, Ebonyi State, Enugu State, Imo State, and the cities of Asaba in Delta State and Port Harcourt in Rivers State.”

SIGNIFICANT DATES

26 May

France: Cannes Film Festival
Georgia: Independence Day
Guyana: Independence Day
Monaco: Formula 1 Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco
Swaziland: Bushfire music and arts festival; House on Fire, Malkerns Valley

27 May

Colombia: Founding of left-wing rebel group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
France: Cannes Film Festival
Islam: Ramadan
Monaco: Formula 1 Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco
Swaziland: Bushfire music and arts festival; House on Fire, Malkerns Valley

28 May

Armenia: Republic Day
Azerbaijan: Republic Day
Ethiopia: Downfall of the Derg. Public holiday, most offices and businesses close. Large crowds are expected in Addis Ababa.
France: Cannes Film Festival
Islam: Ramadan
Lesser Antilles / Turks & Caicos Islands: National Heroes' Day
Monaco: Formula 1 Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco
Swaziland: Bushfire music and arts festival; House on Fire, Malkerns Valley

29 May

Islam: Ramadan
Monaco: Formula 1 Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco
Nepal: Republic Day
Nigeria: Democracy Day
Puerto Rico: Memorial Day (Government offices, banks and most businesses closed)
U.S. Virgin Islands: Memorial Day
United Kingdom: Spring Bank Holiday
United States: Memorial Day (Federal holiday; Government offices and many businesses close.)

30 May

Anguilla / Lesser Antilles: Anguilla Day
China / Taiwan: Dragon Boat Festival (Government offices and some businesses close.)
Islam: Ramadan
Judaism: Shavuot (Pentecost) (Begins on the evening before the start date noted here. In Israel, government offices and banks close. Business offices and public transportation operate as usual.)
Nigeria: Biafra Remembrance Day
Trinidad & Tobago: Indian Arrival Day

31 May

Islam: Ramadan
Judaism: Shavuot (Pentecost) (Begins on the evening before the start date noted here. In Israel, government offices and banks close. Business offices and public transportation operate as usual.)

1 June

Angola: International Children's Day
Islam: Ramadan
Judaism: Shavuot (Pentecost) (Begins on the evening before the start date noted here. In Israel, government offices and banks close. Business offices and public transportation operate as usual.)
Kenya: Madaraka Day
Mongolia: Mother and Child Day (Government offices and some businesses close.)

2 June

Bahamas: Labor Day
Islam: Ramadan
Italy: Anniversary of the Republic (Protests may occur in Rome)

3 June

Islam: Ramadan
Lesotho: General election
Uganda: Martyrs' Day

4 June

British Virgin Islands: Sovereign's Birthday
China: Anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest crackdown
Christianity: Whit Sunday (Pentecost)
Islam: Ramadan
Malaysia: King's Birthday (Public holiday; businesses and government offices close)

5 June

Australia: Western Australia Day (Formerly known as Foundation Day)
Christianity: Whit Monday
Denmark: Constitution Day (Bank holiday)
Equatorial Guinea: President's Birthday (Public holiday. Businesses, schools and government offices are closed.)
Islam: Ramadan
Middle East: Naksa Day; commemorates the start of the 1967 Six Day War between Israel and Jordan, Syria and Egypt and the displacement of Palestinians during and after the conflict. Rallies and demonstrations featuring anti-Israel sentiment may take place.
New Zealand: Queen's Birthday (observed)
Romania: Pentecost Monday (Orthodox)
Seychelles: Liberation Day

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