[Notice: The Critical Threats Project frequently cites sources from foreign domains. All such links are identified with an asterisk(*) for the reader's awareness.]
Below are the takeaways from the week:
Iranian hardliners will refuse to address *Europe’s concerns over the regime’s terrorism financing, potentially scuttling a newly established trade mechanism between Europe and Iran. Europe implied that Iran must comply with international anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing standards in order for the mechanism to be operational. The mechanism’s failure would hamper European trade with Iran and may impel Iran to violate the nuclear deal by restarting its nuclear program.
The Saudi-led coalition may be able to advance against the Houthis in Hajjah governorate in northwestern Yemen as the Houthis are drawn into managing a tribal uprising along a major supply route to the southwest. Tribal forces began *attacking al Houthi forces in northwestern Yemen on January 22 after the al Houthi movement violated the terms of a 2012 truce. Al Houthi officials *attempted to renegotiate the truce on February 2 but have so far *failed to reach an agreement.
HORN OF AFRICA
Al Shabaab is planning attacks against Westerners in Nairobi, the Kenyan coast, and tourist destinations in central Kenya in order to pressure the Kenyan government into withdrawing forces from Somalia. Al Shabaab has never successfully attacked central Kenya. The group seeks to leverage its cells there, which *helped conduct last month’s attack in Nairobi, to further damage a tourism industry already hurt by al Shabaab operations along the coast.
The takeover of southwestern Libya by the Libyan National Army, a militia coalition that controls eastern Libya, moves Libya closer to being under the military rule of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
This outcome could create the appearance of stability but is dangerous because it feeds the popular grievances that allow Salafi-jihadi militants to operate in Libya. The LNA coalition has seized military *sites and the southwestern regional *capital in recent weeks.
CorrectionTHE FEBRUARY 5 LIBYA MAP SAYS THAT THE LNA SEIZED AL WIGH AIR BASE ON FEBRUARY 29. THIS OPERATION OCCURRED ON JANUARY 29.