Aon has just issued the latest version of its “Terrorism Threat Map.” The most significant change from previous maps shows a “shift in Islamist terrorist activity from the Middle East to South Asia.” The new map shows a trend towards fewer terrorist attacks in the Middle East, but increased activity in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, with Thailand and Nepal also showing higher levels of activity.
A link to the Aon 2009 Terrorism Threat Map is available at – http://www.aon.com/default.jsp. It was produced in coordination with security consultancy firm Janusian, and is derived from “data recorded on a new ‘Terrorism Tracker’ database*, which tracks global levels of terrorist activity, including attacks, plots, communiqués and government countermeasures,” said Aon. It represents a snapshot of terrorist groups’ intent and capability and provides an indication of the current threat of attack in each country.
Another key trend from this year’s analysis is the re-emergence of terrorist groups with more traditional ideological leanings. Craig Preston, executive director at Aon, explained: “Our analysis shows the re-emergence of groups like the communist Shining Path in Peru and a revolutionary anarchist movement in Greece.”
He added that in light of the global recession it’s possible that “a new generation of terrorists will emerge from disaffected communities in a re-emergence of class-based politics.”
Preston also raised the prospect of “new terrorist groups forming in the developed world on the far right and far left of the ideological spectrum.” He particularly noted that the election of a more liberal President in the U.S. makes it possible that “we may see an uplift in activity from domestic far right and militia groups.”
However, Preston described terrorist threats in North America, Europe and Australia as being “more settled,” even though “the prospect of a major terrorist attack in a Western country is ever present.” He also noted that “there are signs of more sophisticated plots,” but in recent years such attacks haven’t been carried out.
Looking at the past year, Aon noted the “tenacity of leftist/Maoist activity in India and Nepal. Outside India little attention is paid to the activities of the rural conflict in the north east part of the country but Maoist terrorists have become amongst the most prolific in the world. The recent Indian elections led to a significant spike in attacks; in April 2009, 65 terrorist incidents were recorded there.”
Preston urged businesses to take steps to “mitigate a terrorism threat” by implementing a proportionate security risk management scheme to identify and reduce the vulnerabilities to personnel and business assets based on an expert risk assessment. One of the primary ways of doing so is to “transfer their risk through an appropriate insurance policy to reduce the impact of any such attack,” he added.
A copy of the 2009 Terrorism Threat Map can be requested from http://www.aon.com/
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