Posted by: kenwbudd | June 18, 2009

2009 Terrorism Threat Map – AON

A shift in Islamist terrorist activity from the Middle East to South Asia is the primary feature of the Aon 2009 Terrorism Threat Map, launched by Aon Crisis Management. The 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.

The Aon 2009 Terrorism Threat Map, produced in coordination with security consultancy firm Janusian, 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. 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.

“In a global recession it is not inconceivable that a new generation of terrorists will emerge from disaffected communities in a re-emergence of class-based politics. This raises the prospect of new terrorist groups forming in the developed world on the far right and far left of the ideological spectrum. With the election of a more liberal President in the US, it is possible we may see an uplift in activity from domestic far right and militia groups.”

Aon’s 2009 Terrorism Threat Map also shows a more settled outlook for North America, Europe and Australia. Craig explained: “Although the prospect of a major terrorist attack in a Western country is ever present, and there are signs of more sophisticated plots, we have noted that in recent years such attacks have not come to pass.

While evidence of plots emerges from time to time, there is often a protracted timeframe between them, and we are unlikely to see the frequency of attacks in Western countries that we might have expected a few years ago. We attribute this to better counter-terrorism capability and some shift of focus among terrorist groups towards establishing new fronts in places like Pakistan and Somalia.

In general, operating conditions for terrorists have become more difficult in Western countries as well as in some Middle Eastern countries, such as Saudi Arabia.”

The past year has highlighted 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.

“Businesses can 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,” Craig added. “Firms also can transfer their risk through an appropriate insurance policy to reduce the impact of any such attack.”

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