In this week's Intelligence Summary involves a few varied topics. It is the professional opinion of this analyst that a protest demonstration while on foreign soil is one of the most dangerous situations a person abroad can find themselves in, short of waking up one morning and finding yourself as an unarmed foreigner in the middle of a capital city during a sudden and massive military coup de tat or a sudden major military campaign such as the 1968 Tet Offensive in Saigon. A protest is nearly that dangerous, or at least it is in the eyes of this analyst. This opinion is based on the common handling of protests and/or demonstrations in the Western Hemisphere, particularly in the United States, is quite different from how many foreign governments handle a similar situation. While any peaceful protest may turn violent in an instant due to high emotions and mob mentality, it is never outside the realm of possibility that a terrorist organization may target a demonstration and the thought of a massive response from the nation's military and security apparatus may result in a great many casualties. This analyst can not stress enough that if a person were to find themselves in the middle of a protest then the only reasonable and prudent choice would be to immediately vacate the area as rapidly as possible.
Currently, The US Department of State has advised against traveling to the Department of Gracias a Dios in Honduras due to frequent criminal activity. This includes both individual and gang related crimes including the trafficking of illicit narcotics, extortion, murder, and other violent crime. It is estimated by the US State Department that 70% of US Citizen murders within Honduras occurred within the areas surrounding San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa, and La Ceiba. Security services, including but not limited to police and military personnel, are few and far between in this area. This alert include the areas surrounding San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa, and La Ceiba. Currently, the aforementioned crime problem has resulted in US Government personnel being restricted from the Department of Gracias a Dios. This is a region where violent criminals tend to operate with near impunity and the resulting murder rate is one of the highest in the world. It is STRONGLY advised that any personnel in this area consider relocating immediately.
The Dutch Police have informed the US Government that the Cameroonian Dispora will be conducting demonstrations every Friday between 27 January and 26 May 2017 between the hours of 1300-1500 local time which consist of marching between Raad Van State and the United States Embassy in The Hague and back at the specified days and times. Due to the highly fluid nature of even the most peaceful of demonstrations, caution is strongly urged and customers are advised to evacuate any area where a demonstration is being, or is about to be, conducted.
Between 27 January and 3 February 2017, there are expected to be numerous planned and/or spontaneous protests in the Madrid area of Spain. Again, due to the highly fluid nature of even the most peaceful of demonstrations, caution is strongly urged and customers are advised to evacuate any area where a demonstration is being, or is about to be, conducted.
-Prepared by: CASG Intelligence Analyst, 2220 EST 29JAN17
Heightened Risk Of Terrorist Events in Europe Due to Demonstrations Related to U.S. Presidential Inauguration
When a major world power undergoes a change of regime, there is always some form of geopolitical fallout. No United States Presidential Race in recent memory has been more charged and heated than the 2016 Presidential Race was. The allegations of wrongdoing across both sides of the political aisle at parties both foreign and domestic have been continuously flowing since well before the Primary Elections, which caused their own string of problems.
In this previous race, we saw a former US Secretary of State linked to a charitable organization that has verifiable links to foreign entities and a high profile businessman whose foreign investments and interests were well discussed in the run up to the election. When high profile elections include both parties having major foreign ties, the geopolitical fallout should be expected to be a lot more intense and frequent.
Current intelligence indicates that there are a large number of protests and/or demonstrations planned throughout Europe in the wake of the U.S. Presidential Inauguration 20 JANUARY 2017. These demonstrations occurred between 20 and 21 January and it would be reasonable to assume that not only will more demonstrations take place but that foreign personnel with hostile intent may either target the demonstrations directly or use the logistical strains on local security assets cause by the demonstrations themselves.
Current intelligence also indicates that these demonstrations are not intended to be long term in nature. Links to the organizing entities are attached in parentheses below so that CENTURION ASG clients with assets or interests in European cities can monitor future events.
NOTICE: The entities above are not considered threat organizations. With the preceding stated VERY CLEARLY, we must advise that *ANY* demonstration presents a security threat to the general area they occupy. While the demonstration may represent a just cause and the demonstrators themselves may be peaceful, major gatherings are soft targets and a soft target that generates massive attention is an ideal target for terrorist activity. Further, *ALL* U.S. Citizens are STRONGLY ADVISED by CASG Intelligence Staff and the United States State Department to avoid all demonstrations if possible while abroad.
The State Department has issued a travel warning (attached at bottom) for Europe through the Holiday Season and due to the heightened risk of terrorist activity that the demonstrations may bring, it is the opinion of this analyst that the same warnings and advice given in the alert should be heeded by all CASG Customers and/or United States Citizens abroad, particularly those in major metropolitan areas of Europe for at least the next 60 days.
State Department Travel Warning:
As usual, this situation is fluid and may change rapidly. This change could be a decrease or increase in risk. At this time, this analyst sees no need for taking any action other than an increase in vigilance and ensuring that consistent and constant situational awareness is maintained.
-Prepared by: CASG Intelligence Analyst, 0010 EST 23JAN17
Prominent Haitian Politician Guy Philippe has been arrested and extradited back to the United States for trial on suspicion of participating in the trafficking of illegal drugs. Since his arrest, there has been an increase in the amount of violence against US Citizens in Haiti reported to US Authorities. There have been non-violent protests outside the US Embassy in Port-au-Prince and the US Government has restricted the travel of US Government personnel in the regions where Philippe had a large amount of support.
Given the nature of "non-violent protests," it does not take much imagination to see where this could lead. Aside from the embassy, violent demonstrations have occurred including but not limited to arson attacks on local police and United Nations vehicles, an attack on a radio station, and burglaries resulting in the theft of United States Passports. Local Law Enforcement personnel have commented that these attacks are linked to groups that support Philippe.
The region where Philippe garnered the most support included the Departments of Grand'Anse and Sud. On at least one occasion (6 January 2017), multiple demonstrators entered a hotel in Jeremie (in the North Central Coastal area of the Grand'Anse Department) and were alleged to have been searching from US Citizens. Other areas of Haiti appear to be presenting less risk for US citizens than the Departments named above.
Guy Philippe is a former Haitian soldier, rebel, and lead the 2004 coup-de-tat against former President Jean-Bertrand Artistide. He has been sought out of the US State of Florida for charges of narcotics trafficking and money laundering and was arrested by the Haitian National Police in Port-au-Prince on 5 January 2017 for his alleged involvement in an attack on a Police Commissariat in Les Cayes which resulted in 6 fatalities (two of which were police officers). The demonstrations and anti-American sentiment are allegedly the result of a belief that the United States Government was, in some way, involved with the arrest of Philippe.
Therefore, it is my recommendation to any and all CENTURION ASG, LLC. customers with operations in the above named regions to evacuate if possible. If this is not possible for some reason, it is my strongest recommendation to increase security, continue to monitor local news sources, and maintain a heightened state of situational awareness for new threats.
This situation is highly fluid and has potential to either dissipate or deteriorate rapidly.
-Prepared by: CASG Intelligence Analyst, 1732 EST 16JAN17