Morning Security Brief: Bombing in Nigeria, Overseas Facilities Security Risks, and Malaysian Flight 370 Update

By Lilly Chapa

 At least 21 people are dead after a bomb detonated in a crowded Nigerian shopping center during rush hour yesterday. Although no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, which took place in Nigeria’s capital, it is suspected to be the work of Boko Haram, a military Islamist group that has been targeting civilians in similar attacks. The blast is just the latest in extreme violence that has consumed Nigeria—thousands have been killed in daily attacks in 2014 alone, according to Reuters. The government and military are under sharp scrutiny over their inability to quell the attacks. 

Department of State overseas facilities where U.S. personnel are posted face greater risks due to inconsistent standards, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. The State Department assesses the threat level at each facility to determine what physical security should be used. However, the data used leads to inconsistencies in categorizing the threat levels for the posts, which could lead to subpar security standards. GAO also found that many of the standards currently in place are outdated, and in some instances it took more than eight years to make any changes in protocol—and even then, the measures often don’t address emerging threats and risks.

Aviation analysts, including experts from Boeing and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, and Australian authorities have defined a 23,000-square-mile area where searchers will look for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The new zone, in the southern Indian Ocean, is further south than previous search efforts, according to the LA Times. The analysts believe that the crew was unresponsive for the hours leading up to the disappearance due to a lack of oxygen. And investigators continue to say they believe the plane’s disappearance was the result of deliberate action of someone aboard the jet. The new seafloor search will begin in August and is scheduled to last for one year.


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