MS Risk Blog

Security Advisory – Sahel Region (10 May 2018)

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Security Advisory:  Sahel Region

See on the right-hand side a social media post attributed to al-Qaeda in the Sahel region.  English translation is below:

 

English Translation:  Al Qaeda threatens to attack companies established in the Sahel region. In a communique published on May 8, the terrorist group accuses Western societies of plundering the resources of this region and announces that they have become targets of attack.

 

Security Summary

MS Risk will be evaluating the authenticity of this posting and the immediate implications (if any) in the coming days.

Potential perils include risk of ambush, kidnapping of expat or local national employees, theft of vehicles or fuel and other consumables, or vandalism.  Previous attacks have included attempts at indirect fire (a crude rocket attack made towards a mine in Jan 2017 which failed), the use of vehicle borne IEDs (car bombs) which appeared to feature in the Ouagadougou attack in March of this year and marauding gunmen attacks such as has been seen at hotels, restaurants and embassies in several countries in the last three years.  Furthermore, IED usage has increased in Mali and there are strong indications of new skill sets coming into the Sahel region.  This is indicative of skills transfer from other theatres of unrest, such as Libya and Syria.  There is a concern of growing sophistication of the IED threat in Mali and we are closely monitoring the expanding risk of this technology into the greater Sahel region.

The March 2018 terrorist incidents in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, which saw two high profile targets attacked in broad daylight, demonstrates that militant groups operating in the Sahel region have the capabilities to carry out complex attacks.  This highlights the need to take stock of security and risk exposures.  It will be prudent for companies with a high profile in the Sahel region to watch for suspicious activity: surveillance, unknown persons loitering near property, signs of trespass or forced entry to premises, and odd contact in various forms and guises.  Companies should take this moment to assess their own exposures and consider procedures for night operations, road movements, journey management and security routines at residences, offices and depots.  We recommend a review of crisis management plans and escalation procedures.

MS Risk can assist corporates and NGOs as needed throughout the region.  Contact us for further assistance.

Contact Information

Contact:  info@msrisk.com

Regional Manager West Africa:  Philip Whitehead (Email: pip.whitehead@msrisk.com Mobile: +226.64.81.95.58)