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Published:November 16th, 2007 06:39 EST
OSAC Activity Report: October 2007

OSAC Activity Report: October 2007

By SOP newswire

OSAC’s Executive Office is gearing up for its 22nd Annual Briefing, which will be held November 13-15 at the State Department in Washington, DC.  The theme for this year's briefing is "Security Consequences of Globalization."  The event will feature U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice; Keynote Speaker Dr. John J. DeGioia, President of Georgetown University; Ambassador John K. Veroneau, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative; and Admiral William Studeman, among others. The agenda also includes a variety of other governmental and private sector presentations and the RISC Regional Security Overviews.   
In October, OSAC’s Deputy Director, Fred Stolper, and two RISC Regional Coordinators attended the Latin American Regional Council (LARC) meeting in Miami, Florida.  Topics discussed included the LARC’s new Google Group listserv, the importance of constituent incident reporting, and how the LARC can best utilize its OSAC website to suit its needs.  The seminar also included a panel discussion on supply chain security, which included representatives from several companies, as well as the Miami-Dade Metro Police.
RISC Chief Jackee Schools traveled to Vancouver, Canada, as part of an assessment team to discuss preparations for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.  She also helped to set the groundwork for the Vancouver Country Council, expected to launch in early 2008.
During the month of October, analysts conducted 342 constituent consultations, the highest number in three months.  This month, the Middle East/North Africa was the RISC region with most constituent interest, which garnered 28% of consultations.  The country with the most constituent interest in October was China.  For complete information on constituent interaction, please view the final section of this report.

OSAC SEPTEMBER REPORTS


The following list shows OSAC.gov’s ten most-viewed OSAC reports for October, as well as a recap of major reports published online this month.  In October, two of the ten most-viewed reports were OSAC original reports.


 

OSAC.GOV:
OCTOBER’S MOST-VIEWED
REPORTS
1.      Public Announcement: Worldwide Caution (1,000+ Hits)
2.      Warden Message: Potential Civil Unrest in Turkey (1,000+)
3.      Warden Message: Security Precautions Urged in Brazil (950+)
4.      Security Notice: Nairobi USAID Staff Shot (700+)
5.      OSAC Activity Report: September (700+)
6.      Warden Message: Bolivia, Canceled Flights (550+)
7.      Recent Thefts in Ukraine (550+)
8.      Warden Message: Bolivia Visa Policy Change (550+)
9.      Travel Warning: Indonesia (500+)
10.  Warden Message: Increased Vigilance Urged in Poland (500+)

On Friday, October 19 at 12:10 a.m., a suicide bomber attacked the convoy of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto while she was en route from the airport to downtown Karachi.  According to media reports, over 140 people were killed and more than 500 wounded.  For more details, please log in with your username and password.

 
On Friday, October 19 at 1:30 p.m., a large explosion was reported at the upscale Glorietta 2 Mall in Makati City, Metro Manila.  Eight were reported killed, with at least 76 injured as of early morning on October 19, EST. Makati City is Metro Manila’s central business district, and the Glorietta 2 Mall is in one of the busiest shopping areas in the city.  For more details, please log in with your username and password.
This report updates a previous OSAC presentation issued on October 19 on the Makati explosion. As of this time, the Philippines National Police have redacted a previous confirmation that the explosion was caused by a bombing.  Included in this report are new details on blast site analysis, and also the results of a survey conducted of OSAC constituent response to the incident.  For more details, please log in with your username and password.
Mumbai’s Anti-terrorist Squad has launched a hunt for four suspected terrorists who are reported to have conducted surveillance activities in the city on Tuesday and Wednesday. The attached report details the areas that the suspects surveilled.  For more details, please log in with your username and password.


 
RISC TRAVEL
5 RISC coordinators attended 3 domestic events in October. 
Three RISC regional coordinators plan to visit 3 posts in Central America and East Asia/Pacific over the next 60 days.  OSAC encourages all private sector representatives to make every effort to attend these meetings personally, or at the very least to ensure a staff member represents your organization at each meeting.  More information for each of the meetings and the respective councils can be found on the OSAC website, as well as at the individual hyperlinks in each listing.
·        BEIJING:  Country Council Meeting, December 4
·        PANAMA CITY:  Country Council Meeting, December 4
·        SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA:  Country Council Meeting, November 29
OSAC Academia Outreach
OSAC has worked to increase its visibility among academic institutions by co-hosting seminars on health, safety, and security issues relevant to students and by participating in conferences held on college campuses.  In October, RISC’s Regional Coordinator for Europe and Regional Coordinator for Africa spoke at Michigan State University for the 4th College and University International Health, Safety, and Security Seminar.  The coordinators discussed how OSAC can assist its academic constituents and provided an overview of threats frequently encountered by students abroad.  The event drew 100 people and received excellent feedback.  RISC’s Senior Threats Coordinator attended a study abroad security conference held at the University of California, San Diego campus.  OSAC expects to host a similar event in the spring of 2008, adding its NGO constituency to the audience; additionally, OSAC is hoping to sponsor a study abroad safety seminar in Paris, in April 2008.
COUNTRY COUNCIL FOCUS: India Country Council
The India Country Council is an excellent example of the strength of OSAC's public-private partnership, with six regional sub-chapters, each maintaining a private-sector chairperson and vice-chair.  The six sub-chapters are located in Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai.  The RSO in New Delhi presides over the India Country Council, in conjunction with the RSOs in Mumbai and Chennai.  In total, a board of fifteen individuals provides strategic leadership to the India Country Council.
On October 10, the Delhi subchapter held its Annual General Meeting.  Attendees were greeted by the U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission and the Delhi Chapter private-sector chairman.  RSO New Delhi opened the day with a comprehensive global security overview, with a focus on trends and issues relevant to the security environment in India.  Other topics addressed by various speakers included Expatriate Security; Due Diligence; Intellectual Property Rights; and Employee Transport Security. 
U.S. organizations operating in India are faced with a diverse array of issues and challenges that threaten the safety of their staff, facilities, and intellectual property.  The India Country Council is an organization that allows for coordination on a country-wide basis while allowing the regional sub-chapters to function in a way that best serves their local requirements.  Recently, the Hyderabad and Bangalore sub-chapters held a joint conference call for local members to discuss security responses to the terrorist bombings in Hyderabad this summer.  The result of this meeting was a benchmarking memo describing the decision by several members to adopt enhanced security measures for their operations in southern India. 
If you would like additional information on the activities of the India Country Council, please contact the OSAC Senior Regional Coordinator for South Asia
RISC provided 92 constituent consultations, the region’s highest since July 2006.
  • UNITED ARAB EMIRATES:  A number of constituents traveling to the UAE in October contacted OSAC for the latest security information and guidance.  Some were also concerned about security for the upcoming Dubai Air Show, which will be held from November 11-15.
RISC provided 70 constituent consultations, the region’s highest since October 2006.
  • CHINA:  China maintained its position as the country of highest interest to constituents.  OSAC saw a sustained high level of executive travel to the country, along with scattered requests for information from companies that are newcomers to the Chinese market.  Requests for information regarding the Beijing Olympics have continued to increase.

 
RISC provided 51 constituent consultations.
  • NIGERIA:  Interest was driven by incidents in the Niger Delta in the South and Kano’s general security situation in the North, including political unrest and demonstrations. Militants and criminal gangs continued to conduct kidnapping operations in the Delta, including renewed attacks by MEND. At the end of the month, the U.S. Department of State issued an updated Travel Warning for the country.
RISC provided 42 constituent consultations, the region’s highest in three months.
  • MEXICO:  Concern about employee safety and security traveling to and around Mexico dominated constituent calls. Many expressed alarm over the increased violence among Mexican drug cartels and the risk of collateral damage.  Constituents also noted concern over possible EPR attacks against Mexican liquid natural gas and oil pipelines.
RISC provided 32 constituent consultations, the region’s highest since February 2007.
  • INDIA:  Recent incidents of terrorism and domestic unrest have sparked the concerns of constituents in India.  The most noteworthy incidents this month were two sectarian terrorist attacks in northwest India, and a hunt for four suspected terrorists who were reported to have conducted surveillance activities in Mumbai.  Civil unrest in West Bengal and actions by the Naxalite domestic insurgent group have also threatened to affect constituents' operations.  
RISC provided 31 constituent consultations, the region’s highest in four months.
  • RUSSIA:  A bus bombing in central Russia peaked constituent interest, given the ongoing organized crime disputes settled with assassinations and explosives, upcoming parliamentary elections, and terrorist attacks attributed to Russian Nationalists and groups from the volatile North Caucasus area.  Although no Americans were injured in the attack, constituents are reminded that impact from collateral damage is always a possibility.
RISC provided 24 constituent consultations, the highest in three months.
  • UNITED KINGDOM:  The United Kingdom remains a heavily traveled destination for constituents, as well the primary European base for a sizeable number of U.S. companies.   With significant strikes impacting France and Germany in October, constituents queried whether similar strikes would occur in the UK.

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