Security Exchange News

The Taliban and Global Jihad

10 September 2021

Over the last month, many have expressed concerns that - despite pledges from the Taliban to prevent Afghanistan being used for terrorist activity - a Taliban-run government will inevitably increase the risk of the country becoming a safe haven for Islamist militants to recruit, train, and plot reprisal attacks on the Western forces that occupied the country for 20 years. The cautious consensus amongst the international community is that the Taliban’s desire for recognition as a legitimate government overrides any desire to ‘get back’ at the powerful Western forces that largely withdrew before the Taliban were in a strong enough position to topple the fragile Afghan government. It is widely accepted that if the US were given reason to intervene in Afghanistan again, the Taliban neither have the numbers or the resources to stay in power. Therefore, it is in the group’s interests to honour their promise and contain al-Qaeda and other associated militant groups, such as the Haqqani Network. What we have seen so far, following the fall of Kabul, have been deadly attacks either carried out, or inspired by, Islamic State (IS) – a group the Taliban has been fighting for many years.

Read More

Afghanistan: The Race to Leave

24 August 2021

As the 31 August withdrawal deadline rapidly approaches, international evacuation efforts at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport (KBL) have become a race against time. The airport is currently managed by the US military, which agreed to withdraw all US forces by September in a landmark agreement with the Taliban last year. Without US troops on the ground, other allied forces will be unable to hold the airport or maintain a military presence in the country.

Read More

The Return of the Taliban

15 August 2021

This morning, Kabul residents awoke to face their first full day under Taliban rule in two decades. Over the course of the last 12 months, the Taliban have increasingly escalated violent attacks on the Afghan government security forces and foreign troops, culminating in an unprecedented nationwide offensive - which saw Taliban insurgents advance on Kabul yesterday, seizing the capital.

Read More

Military takes power after President Déby killed by rebels

10 May 2021

In mid-April President Idriss Déby was killed following clashes with rebels in the north of the country. His death, aged 68, came just a day after he was officially re-elected for a sixth term in office. Rather than remaining in N’Djamena to make a victory speech, he travelled to the frontline to visit troops fighting Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) rebels, who had launched an offensive earlier in the month from neighbouring Libya. The president “breathed his last breath defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield”, army spokesman General Azem Bermandoa Agouna said in a statement.

Read More

Anti-government protests erupt over tax reforms

10 May 2021

Tens of thousands of Colombians have been gathering in massive nationwide protests which enveloped the country since 28 April. Defying a 20:00 curfew and risking Covid-19 infection, the demonstrators have been gathering to protest a controversial tax reform bill passed by President Ivan Duque on 15 April. Across more than a week of protests, the demonstrators have burned buses and police stations, looted banks and shops and even blocked all of the main roads leading to Cali; the country’s third largest city. This has left Cali with dozens of empty grocery shops and a general shortage of medicine in the city. In an effort to curb the violence, President Duque deployed troops to the largest gatherings. At least 24 people have died, more than 800 civilians and officers have been injured and more than 400 have been arrested.

Read More

Second wave sparks Covid-19 crisis

10 May 2021

A major second wave of Covid-19 has hit India hard in recent weeks – making it the second worst-affected country during the global pandemic, second only to the US. India overtook Brazil last month and has continued to report new records for daily figures almost every 24 hours. The country’s current Covid-19 caseload now stands at more than 21 million confirmed cases – a number which is expected to continue to rise. Medical experts also estimate that millions of undetected cases could mean real figures could be five to 10 times higher than the official tally. While daily case numbers have begun to decline over the last week, testing numbers have also dipped, furthering fears the country’s true caseload is far higher than outbreak data suggests.

Read More

Northern Ireland experiences worst rioting in years

10 May 2021

Sporadic rioting has broken out in towns and cities across Northern Ireland (NI) over recent weeks. Since the end of March, dozens of police officers have been injured in the worst street violence to be reported in NI for years. Last month, the violent unrest prompted police to use water cannons to disperse crowds for the first time in six years, as crowds of predominantly loyalist youths attacked lines of riot police with bricks, petrol bombs, and fireworks. The violence first broke out between gangs of youths back in late March, in an area of Londonderry typically associated with loyalists – those who support NI remaining part of the UK. Protests and riots broke out on a near-nightly basis over the first week of April, with incidents reported in Belfast, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, and Newtonabbey. In early April, fighting spilt over a so-called peace wall in west Belfast which separates loyalist areas from predominantly Catholic nationalist communities. Unlike loyalist communities, nationalists favour a united Ireland. A gate along the wall was reportedly smashed open, leading to several hours of disorder – during which police officers and a press photographer were attacked, while a bus was hijacked and set alight. The clashes raised concerns over heightened sectarian tensions.

Read More

Foreign Minister recorded criticising IRGC ahead of key elections

10 May 2021

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was forced to apologise for leaked comments about the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US drone strike in January 2020. In a leaked audio recording, Zarif bemoaned the IRGC’s attempts to dominate Iran’s foreign policy and claimed General Soleimani was responsible for taking Iran into the conflict in Syria. The foreign minister also said that he had zero influence on the country’s foreign policy during the interview, which was intended to be kept for internal state records. “I hope that the great people of Iran and all the lovers of General (Soleimani) and especially the great family of Soleimani, will forgive me,” said Zarif on Instagram.

Read More

Security Exchange Newsletter | March

01 April 2021

The March edition of InTouch Monthly includes the attack on Palma in Mozambique, the political and health crisis in Brazil and the debate sparked by the killing of Sarah Everard in the UK. We also cover the new interim government in Libya and the deadly fire at a camp for Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh.

Read More

Security Exchange Newsletter | February

01 March 2021

The February edition of InTouch Monthly covers the fresh outbreak of Ebola in Guinea, along with the rising violence in Colombia, political unrest in Haiti and the fallout from the coup in Myanmar. We also look at the anti-government protests in Thailand, the conflict in the Marib province of Yemen and the power struggle between Armenia's prime minister and the army.

Read More

Security Exchange Newsletter | January

01 February 2021

The first edition of the InTouch Monthly for 2021 comes a year after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global public health emergency in response to the outbreak of coronavirus in China. At that time just over 200 people had died; one year later and the virus has claimed more than 2.2m lives across the world. We look at some of the areas where the virus is having the most significant impact, alongside other key issues such as the Afghan peace talks and the farm law protests in India.

Read More

Security Exchange Newsletter | November

04 December 2020

The November edition of InTouch Monthly covers the conflict in the Tigray region of Ethiopia and the recent suicide bomb attacks in Afghanistan, which have occurred as the government and the Taliban continues peace talks. In the US, Joe Biden faces a number of significant challenges when he takes office in January, including how he can revive the Iran nuclear deal. This issue has been made more complicated by the assassination of Iran's nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, near Tehran.

Read More

Security Exchange Newsletter | September

05 October 2020

The main topics in this edition of the InTouch Monthly are the ongoing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, and the news from Washington DC that US President Donald Trump has tested positive for Covid-19. We also look ahead to the upcoming elections in Cote d'Ivoire and neighbouring Guinea, alongside an update on the ongoing protests in Belarus against President Lukashenko.

Read More

Covid-19 – Business Continuity - A Continual Process for Business Survival

25 September 2020

Business owners across the globe are reeling from the devastating effects of Covid-19. Those with business continuity management systems (BCMS) that they have been able to implement will have been better prepared to address the challenges presented by the initial effects of the pandemic, however that is not to say that such businesses are now able to relax. It is predicted that Covid-19 will linger until such times as an effective vaccine is discovered. In some cases, operating restrictions may be implemented locally or nationally depending on rates of infections and hence, all businesses need to be able to react accordingly.

Read More

Covid-19 – Second Wave Prediction – Have We Finally Woken up to Crisis Preparedness?

11 September 2020

In May this year, Security Exchange specialists posted an article relating to crisis preparedness specifically in respect of Covid-19. All articles can be re-read in our on-line library. The main theme of the article was to highlight the importance of collating all information and basing crisis preparedness strategies around the resources available. At the time, observers commented on the fact that despite being made aware of the potential for a pandemic crisis to occur, crisis managers did little to prepare organisations and society in general for the chaotic effects which Covid-19 unleashed across the globe. Criticism was levelled at the UK Government for failing to take on board findings from the much publicised ‘Cygnus’ project. More specifically, the Government and NHS came under intense scrutiny over their ability … ‘to review its response to an overwhelmed service with reduced staff availability’.

Read More

Covid-19 – Food Safety Concerns and Enforcement Action

09 September 2020

In the post-Covid-19 world, it is perhaps timely to carry out a review of global food safety-related issues. The following short article, produced by Security Exchange Specialists, provides an overview of the actions which enforcement agencies are beginning to take - flexing their muscles and regaining control of the risk-based approach to food safety enforcement.

Read More

Security Exchange Newsletter | August

03 September 2020

In this edition of the InTouch Monthly we assess the recent coup in Mali and the massive explosion which ripped through Lebanon's capital, Beirut. We also look at the ongoing political unrest in Belarus following the disputed elections and the tensions between Greece and Turkey in the Mediterranean. In the Americas, we focus on the corruption case against former president Alvaro Uribe, while in Asia we look at the upcoming peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

Read More