Spotlight News 7/8/2016

Typhoon Nepartak Makes Landfall in Taiwan as Strongest Storm in 45 Years, Severe Disruption Reported and Likely to Persist

Super typhoon Nepartak made landfall in Taiwan early Friday morning, causing severe disruption to cargo transportation and business operations. A U.S. monitoring center recorded wind speeds of 125 miles per hour just prior to landfall. Parts of central and southern Taiwan are reportedly receiving between one and three inches of rainfall per hour, with one location in eastern Taiwan reporting 22 inches of rainfall during the day. There is a strong potential for flooding and mudslides in Taiwan as the storm passes overhead, and these types of incidents are likely to cause extended disruption to business operations. After passing over Taiwan, the storm is expected to make landfall in China, though likely as a far weaker storm. Nepartak will likely disrupt supply chain operations as far as away as Japan as well. 

ISIS-Coordinated Attack Strikes North of Baghdad, New Details Emerge on Baghdad Bombing

Terrorists launched a coordinated attack involving three suicide bombers on a Shi’ite mausoleum in Salahadin’s Balad, 58 miles north of Baghdad. The attack began as a suicide bomber detonated his explosives outside the mausoleum. The two other bombers then stormed the site and shot and killed 20 people and wounded 50 others. One suicide bomber detonated his explosives while security forces shot and killed the other. Rocket fire also struck the site during the attack. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, as prominent Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr ordered his militia, the Peace Brigade, to deploy around the site.

On July 7, a member of the Security and Defense Parliamentary Committee reported that the explosives used in the July 3 attack in the Karrada district of Baghdad contained an “unidentified substance.” The committee source added that the substance is not similar to explosive substances used by terrorists in previous bombings. Security services have since suspended their investigations until after the Islamic Eid al-Fitr celebrations. In addition to the new information, Iraq’s Health Ministry reported that the death toll of the attack had reached 292. In the initial days following the attack, the death toll stood at 151, but has increased as more people first reported as missing have been registered as deceased. 

Cargo Truck Transportation Union Reporting High Rate of Cargo Theft in Callao, Peru

The head of a cargo truck transportation union in Callao, Peru called for increased security in the city to combat the high rate of cargo theft plaguing the industry. According to the union leader, an average of 124 cargo trucks in Callao suffer from either hijackings or “skating,” the theft of goods from in-transit vehicles, per month. The union leader indicated that while thefts have decreased in the Port of Callao, incidents of theft are increasing in neighboring areas including San Martin de Porres. Roads leading to and from the port, including Manco Capac, Atalaya, Contralmirante Mora, and Nestor Gambetta Avenue, are hotspots for theft incidents, which tend to be more violent at night.

Thieves operating in the area frequently brandish firearms, are capable of blocking GPS tracking devices, and typically use electric saws to cut into containers. Thieves also target cargo trucks that are forced to drive slowly in traffic congestion, and drivers report that the lack of adjoining avenues on the above roads prevents drivers from escaping in-progress thefts. The union leader also alleged that corrupt port workers and customs officers are colluding with cargo theft gangs and are providing details on the arrival and transportation schedules of high-value shipments.