Canadian Underwriter
News

2015 the most lethal year for terrorism in Europe in nearly a decade: Aon Risk Solutions


April 12, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter


Print this page Share

2015 was the most lethal year for terrorist violence in Europe in nearly a decade and the first net increase in global terrorism risk ratings since 2013, according to Aon Risk Solutions.

Smoke rises from positions in the Islamic State group held town of Besher, during a military operation to regain control of the small town, outside the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, April 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Anmar Khalil)

Smoke rises from positions in the Islamic State group held town of Besher, during a military operation to regain control of the small town, outside the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, April 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Anmar Khalil)

On Tuesday, Aon Risk Solutions – the global risk management business of Aon plc – released its annual Terrorism and Political Violence Map, which found that the risk ratings in 18 countries experienced an increase and 13 countries saw a decrease.

For the first time since Aon and The Risk Advisory Group plc jointly began collecting empirical data to create the map in 2007, shootings have overtaken bombings in the western world, while the targeting of civilians in public spaces has become more commonplace, Aon Risk Solutions said in a press release. Since January 2015, nearly one-third (31%) of all attacks in the West targeted private citizens and public gatherings.

“This marks a significant change from 2010-2014, when attacks against private citizens and public gatherings made up just 25% of recorded incidents, second to attacks on police, military and government, which totalled 43% of attacks,” the report said. “This means that terrorism re-emerged as a significant business risk over the past year, with major high-profile international attacks targeting tourism related sectors (hotels, resorts, airports and civil aviation) and crowded public spaces (including retail and sports venues).”

The top six targeted business sectors last year were transport, logistics and transport infrastructure (131 attacks), retail (115 attacks), extractives (87 attacks), critical infrastructure (83 attacks), financial (29 attacks) and tourism (25 attacks). [click image below to enlarge]

The global threat posed by the Islamic State dominates many of the map findings this year, as the group entered a more aggressive phase of mounting mass casualty attacks in 2015 and early 2016, with the United States, France, Turkey and Belgium all affected, the release noted. The terrorist organization’s activities have contributed to sustaining or increasing risk levels in more than a dozen countries worldwide. Far-right activism as well as civil unrest risks stemming from the European migrant crisis and the increasing influence of extremist parties have also driven rating increases.

“Our 2016 map demonstrates increasing regional instability and a growing spectrum of potential risks,” Scott Bolton, director in crisis management at Aon Risk Solutions, said in the release. “The threats highlighted in the map should encourage business leaders with global footprints to adopt a more strategic risk management approach to limit the impact of attacks on their people, operations and assets. Understanding how they are exposed to the peril is key to achieving this outcome.”

Henry Wilkinson, head of intelligence and analysis at The Risk Advisory Group, added that the “most business-threatening political violence risks” continue to emerge from war and sudden changes in government control, such as those which occur through coups d’état. “Businesses need to be flexible and robust in how they anticipate and manage risks in the fluid world the map depicts,” he said. “This requires actionable assessments that take both a strategic and a more detailed operational view of the markets in which they seek to thrive.”