Threat Update


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CTP’s Threat Update series provides you with a weekly analysis and assessment of the al Qaeda network and Iran

[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: 


Hardline parliamentarians renewed efforts to impeach Iranian President Hassan Rouhani after a recently-established trade mechanism between Europe and Iran failed to appease regime demands. Eighteen parliamentarians *signed a motion to interpellate Rouhani. The motion is unlikely to acquire the necessary number of signatories to initiate impeachment proceedings, however. Hardliner pressure in August 2018 led to Rouhani’s questioning before Parliament but did not result in a vote to censure Rouhani.


Tribal resistance to the Houthis is growing in northwestern Yemen. Four tribes from a powerful northern Yemeni confederation *denied the Houthis access to a key supply line in Amran governorate on February 14 to support tribal forces besieged by the *Houthis in neighboring Hajjah governorate. The Hajoor tribe in Hajjah revolted against the Houthis on January 22 after the Houthis violated the terms of a 2012 agreement. 



Escalating Salafi-jihadi activity in Burkina Faso may spread to neighboring countries. Likely Salafi-jihadi militants conducted an attack near the Ghanaian border for the first time on February 15. Al Qaeda- and Islamic State-linked militants have advanced southward in Burkina Faso in the past year and may now use the country, which is increasingly unstable, as a launching pad for attacks on coastal West African countries.



A high-casualty suicide attack against Indian security forces in Kashmir risks igniting a war between two major nuclear powers. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi blamed Pakistan for the attack and threatened military action in response. Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan warned that an Indian response could affect Afghanistan negotiations, indicating that Pakistan may use its leverage over the Taliban to pressure Western governments to dissuade India from retaliating.


The Libyan National Army (LNA)’s advance into southern Libya may stabilize oil production in the short term but will lead to renewed conflict. The LNA seized and then ceded control of southern Libya’s largest oil field in order to allow production to resume, a strategy it used to consolidate power in eastern Libya. The LNA’s rivals will not accept an end state in which the LNA controls the bulk of the country’s oil wealth and will likely resist by force.