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Terrorism map

The year 2015 was the deadliest year for terrorist violence in Europe in nearly a decade. That’s according to the Aon Terrorism and Political Violence Map 2016, produced with The Risk Advisory Group. That was largely due to the so-called Islamic State mounting attacks on crowded public spaces. The map this year marks the first net increase in global risk ratings since 2013, with more countries (18) worsening in risk than improving (14).

In 2015, shooting incidents overtook bombings as the most common form of terrorist attack in western countries for the first time since 2007, when Risk Advisory first partnered with Aon to produce the Terrorism and Political Violence Map. The targeting of civilians in public spaces, rather than attacks on state targets, has also become more common. In 2015, three in ten, 31 percent of all attacks in the west or against western interests in other regions targeted private citizens, with the most lethal and disruptive aimed at public spaces, most notably transport hubs, shopping areas, entertainment venues, hotels and tourist resorts.

The global threat posed by Islamic State dominates the findings of the map this year, say the map researchers. The terrorists’ activities have contributed to sustaining or increasing risk levels in dozens of countries, with the group entering a new phase of inciting and directly mounting mass casualty attacks beyond its immediate areas of control. The United States, France, Belgium, Tunisia and Russia have all borne the brunt.

Risk rating increases in Europe have also been driven by far-right activism and civil unrest risks stemming from the European migrant crisis as well as the increasing influence of extremist parties on both the right and left.

In terms of the volume of terrorist attacks, the Middle East was by far the most affected region in the past year, with 80 per cent more attacks (1,114) than the next most affected region of South Asia (799).

Henry Wilkinson, Head of Intelligence & Analysis at The Risk Advisory Group, says: “The Aon Terrorism and Political Violence Map 2016 map reflects the changing risks affecting countries and businesses. Terrorism and civil disquiet in the West looms large, but war and sudden changes in government in emerging markets are also key risks this year. The terrorism threat trends we have identified in Europe, and the instability and conflict risks we have recorded in Africa and Asia that are driving the refugee crisis, come at a critical juncture for the European Union.”

As for where this leaves businesses he says they need to be flexible and robust in how they anticipate and manage risks in the fluid world that the map depicts. “Adaptiveness and resilience require effective risk management capabilities, which is why leading global businesses rely on Risk Advisory’s intelligence and analysis services to help them grow whilst protecting their people, their assets and their brands.”

Scott Bolton, Director of Crisis Management at Aon Risk Solutions, adds: “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.”

Findings from the 2016 Risk Map

Countries with increased risk ratings for 2016:

Angola, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Guyana, Moldova, Morocco, Nepal, Ghana, South Africa, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mongolia.

Most active regions for terrorist attacks in 2015:

● Middle East (1114 attacks) – Down from 2014

● South Asia (799 attacks) – Down from 2014

● North Africa (491 attacks) – Up from 2014

● Sub-Saharan Africa (331 attacks) – Down from 2014

● Eurasia (298 attacks) – Up from 2014

● Latin America (212 attacks) – Up from 2014

● Asia Pacific (188 attacks) – Down from 2014

● The West (35 attacks) – Down from 2014

Most active countries for terrorist attacks in 2015:

● Iraq (845)

● Afghanistan (312)

● Pakistan (290)

● Egypt (257)

● Turkey (214)

● Colombia (189)

● India (170)

● Nigeria (132)

● Thailand (131)

● State of Palestine (102).

Top six targeted business sectors in 2015:

● Transport – 131

● Retail – 115

● Extractives – 87

● Critical Infrastructure – 83

● Financial – 29

● Tourism (primarily hotels and resorts, and civil aviation) – 25


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