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National security wrap

Posted By , , and on March 1, 2018 @ 12:30

The beat

Floating in a winter wonderland

A Canadian man attempted to escape police by floating down a river on an ice block. Police in Moncton had responded to a reported assault Thursday morning and spotted Mike Delahunt fleeing the scene on a ‘large piece of ice floating in the Petitcodiac River’. Some 30 firefighters, as well as police and a military search-and-rescue helicopter, tried to rescue Delahunt. Royal Canadian Mounted Police eventually captured him. He’s been remanded in custody.

Severed head found

Police in Japan discovered a severed female head in an apartment rented by an American tourist. Police later discovered dismembered body parts in the mountains of Shimamato, Osaka. They’ve detained Yevgeniy Vasilievich Bayraktar under suspicion of murdering a 27-year-old Japanese woman who was last seen on CCTV walking with the suspect. Bayraktar’s mother denied the accusations saying, ‘My son’s dream was to marry a Japanese woman.’

Rape statistics rising

The number of rapes in London has grown by 20% over the last year. The number of reported rapes reached 7,613 in the year to January according to the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime. Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissionaire Sir Craig Mackey said that the rise in statistics couldn’t be attributed simply to better reporting practices: ‘[T]here is something going on with sexual offending in London that we don’t fully understand’.

CT scan

Islamic State in Kashmir

Islamic State militants claimed responsibility on Monday for the killing of an Indian policeman in Kashmir, the second attack on police in three months. IS began expanding into Kashmir in 2016, joining numerous militant groups in the region. Unlike those separatist or pro-Pakistan groups, IS has ‘attempted to infuse the Kashmiri jihad with pan-Islamist ideology’. The group’s channel on Telegram, an encrypted messaging service, has called for police officers to attack the ‘enemy of Muslims and Islam’.

Drone strikes in Somalia

US Africa Command announced successful drone strikes against al-Shabab militants in Somalia twice last week. The strikes were carried out in coordination with the Somali government, and reportedly killed seven militants with no civilian casualties. After the drone strikes, al-Shabab carried out an attack near the presidential palace in Mogadishu that killed at least 38.

Skeptical of Sinai strategy success

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi opened the East of the Suez Canal Counterterrorism command on Sunday. The command is part of Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018, aimed at eliminating terrorism in the area. Though Egypt’s armed forces have released numbers detailing their activities, the operation’s actual scale, scope and success has been impossible to verify. Since 2014, Egypt has struggled to contain terrorist activity in the Sinai; in February it emerged that Israel had been working covertly with Egypt to carry out airstrikes there.


Sunrise treaty soon to be signed

Australia and Timor-Leste have reached agreement for a landmark treaty on their disputed maritime border. The two governments pledged to establish a permanent sea boundary and pathways to develop the $50 billion Greater Sunrise offshore gas field. Australia seeks a boundary aligned with its continental shelf, placing much of the field under its control, while Timor-Leste demands that the border run halfway between the two states. Under the agreement, revenue sharing will vary according to ‘downstream benefits associated with different development concepts’ for the field.

UN sanctions suppress North Korean smuggling

The US mission to the UN has proposed a list of ships to be blacklisted under sanctions ‘aimed at shutting down’ North Korea’s maritime oil smuggling. The move to ban the vessels from global ports is considered a significant blow to North Korea’s ability to fund its nuclear program Illicit fuel deliveries to North Korea are allegedly down 89% since the UN first capped oil imports to the country last October.

Guyana moves troops to Venezuelan border

Following Colombia’s border tightening last week, Guyana increased its military presence along its frontier with Venezuela. Beyond responding to Venezuela’s economic crisis, Guyana created two army bases to thwart ‘terrorizing encounters’, ‘incursion’ and ‘invasion’. Venezuela claims almost two-thirds of Guyana as its own territory.

First responder

Saudi Arabia hosts inaugural international humanitarian forum

Saudi Arabia is hosting its first international humanitarian forum. The forum is organised by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre and will bring together development ministers and heads of international aid organisations. The kingdom launched its online Saudi aid platform, reportedly the first of its kind in the region, during the forum’s opening.

2020 deadline looming

Former UN climate chief Christian Figueres warned that heavy industry’s use of high-carbon electricity is threatening progress in reducing greenhouse emissions. While the energy and transport sectors are on track to meet the 2020 commitments, Figueres worries that extreme weather patterns could increase if all sectors do not comply. She leads the ‘Mission 2020’ initiative to reduce greenhouse emissions and reliance on fossil fuel–powered electricity generation by 2020.

Declare your dung

Forget a day trip to the zoo: how about a trip to the airport? Australian Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud says more than 290,000 biosecurity risk items were intercepted at Australian international airports last year. Items included toads concealed in shoes, 50 turtles and lizards hidden among toy blocks, and 5.5 kilograms of cow dung.

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URL to article: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/national-security-wrap-103/

[1] Mike Delahunt: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/mike-delahunt-ice-petitcodiac-park-golfer-1.4549415

[2] ‘large piece of ice floating in the Petitcodiac River’: https://globalnews.ca/news/4044300/suspect-flees-scene-by-riding-an-ice-block-down-new-brunswick-river-rcmp/

[3] Yevgeniy Vasilievich Bayraktar: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43190380

[4] ‘My son’s dream was to marry a Japanese woman.’: https://www.tokyoreporter.com/2018/02/26/mother-of-american-suspect-my-sons-dream-was-to-marry-a-japanese-woman/

[5] 7,613: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/rape-london-reports-met-police-rise-crime-sexual-assault-a8225821.html

[6] Sir Craig Mackey: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/rapes-in-london-soar-by-20-amid-warning-of-a-rise-in-sex-attacks-in-the-capital-a3774171.html

[7] Monday: https://twitter.com/Terror_Monitor/status/968101485082042368

[8] the second attack: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/jk-islamic-state-claims-responsibility-for-killing-cop-5079424/

[9] to infuse the Kashmiri jihad: https://ctc.usma.edu/idea-threat-islamic-state-jammu-kashmir/

[10] called: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/islamic-state-supporters-create-kashmir-group-to-step-up-presence-in-india-give-instructions-on-nice-like-attack/story-5DMUzpbw8ge7EB1pIlKJYO.html

[11] twice: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/us-military-says-drone-strike-in-somalia-kills-4-extremists/2018/02/22/6fd10fda-17f1-11e8-930c-45838ad0d77a_story.html?utm_term=.983b070f0308

[12] coordination with the Somali government: https://www.voanews.com/a/united-states-drone-strike-kills-shabab-militants-somalia/4266354.html

[13] carried out: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-43177348

[14] East of the Suez Canal Counterterrorism: http://www.egyptindependent.com/army-chief-of-staff-requests-sisi-to-extend-sinai-2018-for-over-3-months/

[15] impossible: https://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21737055-apathy-and-anger-egypt-goes-offensive-sinai

[16] February: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/03/world/middleeast/israel-airstrikes-sinai-egypt.html

[17] reached agreement: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/australia-and-east-timor-agree-on-maritime-border-ending-long-running-dispute

[18] $50 billion Greater Sunrise offshore gas field: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-29/east-timor-draft-treaty-march-deadline/9290906

[19] different development concepts: http://timor-leste.gov.tl/?p=19498&lang=en

[20] aimed at shutting down: https://usun.state.gov/remarks/8319

[21] ban the vessels from global ports: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-north-korea-missiles/u-s-pushes-more-u-n-sanctions-targeting-north-korea-oil-coal-smuggling-idUSKCN1G72H8

[22] are allegedly: http://www.defenseone.com/news/2018/02/us-announces-new-sanctions-against-smugglers-who-bring-fuel-north-korea/146199/

[23] Colombia’s border tightening: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/national-security-wrap-102/

[24] terrorizing encounters: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-guyana/guyana-strengthens-border-security-with-venezuela-idUSKCN1G62AX

[25] international humanitarian forum: https://rihf.ksrelief.org/en/Home.aspx

[26] King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre: https://twitter.com/KSRelief_EN

[27] warned: http://www.eco-business.com/news/dirty-industry-undermines-push-to-curb-global-warming-ex-un-climate-chief/

[28] 290,000 biosecurity risk items: http://minister.agriculture.gov.au/littleproud/Pages/Media-Releases/ceclare-your-dung-296,606-reasons-why-biosecurity-is-important-.aspx