Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 04

Headlines From This Week

  • World Economic Forum – The World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, ends on 26 January. The event saw substantially less activist activity than was anticipated, with approximately 2,000 protesters demonstrating in Zurich. Approximately 20 protesters managed to breach the security cordon in the town of Davos itself, but they were dispersed peacefully by police.
  • Turkish Incursion into Syria – Turkish forces, supported by militants from the Free Syrian Army launched an operation to clear Kurdish militia groups from the northern Syrian area of Afrin. The Turkish military objectives appear to remain limited, the assault was likely intended to enhance Turkey’s negotiating position with the US and other coalition partners engaged in the region against Islamic State.
  • Major attacks in Jalalabad and Kabul – The Afghan branches of both the Taliban and Islamic State launched major attacks in Afghanistan. The Taliban conducted an explosives and small arms attack on the Kabul Intercontinental hotel on 20 January, which had recently handed its security measures to a private company. 42 people were killed, 17 of which were foreign nationals. The Islamic State attacked the Save the Children charity’s offices in Jalalabad on 24 January, resulting in two fatalities and leaving 12 wounded.
  • US Government Shutdown – The US Government experienced a three-day shut down between 20 and 22 January. This resulted in a cessation of all “non-essential” services, with government employees responsible for the provision of these services asked to stay home without pay. A political compromise in the Senate led to a short-term funding bill to end the shutdown, but a further shutdown is likely in February.
  • IED Attack in Benghazi – Two car bombs were detonated in a residential area of Benghazi on 23 January, the second blast was timed to target those who gathered to help victims of the first blast. A total of 33 people were killed, and 47 wounded. It is believed that the attack was carried out by a cell of Islamic State insurgents who remain in the city despite the organisation’s military defeat.
  • Tsunami Warnings Across the West Coast of North America – An earthquake of approximately magnitude 8.2 struck south of Kodiak Island in Alaska, resulting in the issuing of tsunami warnings throughout the eastern pacific, particularly the US and Canada’s western seaboards. No damage was reported as a result of the quake due to the distance from major inhabited areas; waves measuring approximately 0.3m were reported, however, but had no impact as they occurred well offshore.

What To Look Out For Next Week

  • Australian Tennis Open – Australia is scheduled to hold its 2018 tennis finals on 27 – 28 January. Australia has suffered occasional, lone wolf, terror attacks in recent years, including an as-yet unclassified attack on a police officer on 26 January 2018. Travellers should expect high levels of security around the venue in Melbourne.
  • Thaipusam Festival – The 2018 Thaipusam festival will be held in Malaysia on 31 January. Additional security measures should be expected around Hindu temple locations, and service provision is likely to be reduced due to business closures related to the holiday.
  • Cost of Living Protests in Khartoum – The opposition-planned protests due to be held in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, on 31 January are likely to result in significant disruption and possible violence. Sudanese security forces responded with force to small-scale, spontaneous, demonstrations over the month of January, and are likely to respond in a similar manner to more widespread incidents.

Significant Dates & Events

  • 27 January – Anti-corruption protests due in Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 27 January – Opposition protests scheduled in Tirana, Albania
  • 27 January – Anti-Trump marches planned in Washington DC
  • 27-28 January – Extensive maintenance to disrupt Mumbai’s rail network
  • 28 January – Finnish presidential elections
  • 28 January – Cyprus presidential elections
  • 28 January – Opposition protests scheduled in major cities throughout Russia
  • 29 January – Italian high-speed rail workers to strike
  • 30 January – Opposition and anti-corruption protests planned in Lima.
  • 31 January – Anti-government protests in Khartoum, Sudan, due to increasing food costs
  • 01 February – Air Do cancelled 26 flights from Japan due to a pilot shortage

Click the following link to download this report as a PDF: Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 04 The Weekly Risk Roundup highlights significant events from the last week and what to look out for next week. Week 043 Weekly Risk Roundup was compiled by Solace Global’s in-house intelligence team.