Interfor International‘s Weekly Security Digest - January 30, 2024

Interfor International‘s Weekly Security Digest – January 30, 2024

Interfor’s Weekly Digest | Global Security and Policy Insights – January  30, 2024

Global Security Matters

National Security 

  • INTERFOR ANALYSIS: In the last two days, we’ve seen several commentators suggest the US is considering drastic retaliation, including a possible attack inside Iran. We see that scenario as still unlikely. It’s important to note that the US goal across the region remains de-escalation. US retaliation will likely target Iranian proxies or their infrastructure in the region, including Iranian equipment and even Iranian personnel in the region supporting proxy groups. While these attacks will be more forceful than prior actions, the strategic priority remains deterrence and avoiding broader regional conflict, not punishing Iran. 
  • For Iran’s part, whether or not an eventual Gaza ceasefire is directly connected to the pressure Iran is exerting, Iran is positioning itself to take credit and garner support for its influence among pro-Palestinian publics across the region. With that in mind, whatever the US response, Iran-linked activity in the region will likely continue for the foreseeable future.
  • INTERFOR ANALYSISThe indiscriminate attacks aimed at a wider group of shipping are raising concerns in the shipping industry.  While it was reported that containerships are avoiding the Red Sea route, Lloyd’s List now reports that Suezmax tankers are increasingly rerouting as well, with charter rates reaching new highs for tankers. Houthi targeting of those tankers could further disrupt trade, drive up energy prices, and further pressure geopolitical tensions, if physical commodity traders opt to circumvent the Red Sea.

Cyber & Technology

  • A Turkish hacking group hacked a cinema in Tel Aviv. The message displaced was written in Hebrew stating, “Stupid Jews, you are all terrorist killers…We will destroy you all. We will limit your access to the internet and banking services. God is with us.” Footage from October 7 was also displayed. Threat actor ‘MeshSec’ has claimed responsibility for the cyberattack.

Travel Security 

  • The State Department warned travelers in a Travel Advisory about the high crime rates in the Bahamas. The advisory emphasized violent crimes such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults in the New Providence (Nassau) and Grand Bahama (Freeport) islands. It advises travelers not to answer the door at their hotel if they do not know who it is. This comes after a security alert by the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas stated that 18 murders have occurred in Nassau since the start of the year.