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The year 2017 is likely to see similar terrorist attacks across Europe to those seen in 2016, says the insurance industry body Pool Re. Terrorist suspects continue to be arrested on a regular basis, with many plots disrupted, says a report on terrorism from the membership body that offers terrorism cover for insurance companies covering commercial property.
Alongside the salient risk posed by Islamist extremism, the London-based re-insurance company cannot discount the rise of far-right extremist groups. The report is recent enough to cover the use of a hijacked lorry to kill and injure visitors to a Christmas Market in Berlin and the killing of 39 people in an Istanbul nightclub, on New Year’s Eve 2016. The report points to the power of ideology to motivate ‘lone actors’ to commit acts of terrorism.
As for themes emerging that are likely to dominate the security landscape in 2017, the report says that despite the probable military defeat of Daesh in Iraq and Syria, the ideology of the group is likely to endure, with the expectation that the group will mutate and evolve into a more dangerous and diffuse entity. “Secondly, the so-called Caliphate will become more ‘virtual’ than physical, with the group increasing its activity online as its physical security is threatened. It is expected that Daesh will move into ‘ungoverned spaces’ – be they geographical areas, or the Dark Web. It is likely that the focus will be on the most motivated and hard-line followers of Daesh, inspired or directed to cause mass casualties and economic damage.” The third, and perhaps biggest, challenge, the report suggests, is how security agencies and governments deal with the high number of experienced foreign fighters returning to their home countries; due to their ideology, conflict experience and knowledge in unconventional attack tactics – such as use of drones and CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear).
For the full 40-page report, visit https://www.poolre.co.uk/terrorism-threat-mitigation-report-01-2017/.
See also ‘Ankara and Berlin: what happens next?’ – https://www.poolre.co.uk/ankara-berlin-happens-next/.