Retail and transport sectors face highest risk of terrorism attack

New data shows 33% of attacks affected retail sector in 2013: Aon Risk Solutions

The retail and transport sectors face the highest risk of a terrorism attack, according to new data from Aon Risk Solutions.

The 2014 Terrorism and Political Violence Map from Aon Risk Solutions and global risk management consultancy, the Risk Advisory Group plc, found that the retail and transportation sectors were significantly affected in 2013, with 33% of terrorism attacks affecting the retail sector, and 18% of attacks taking place on the transportation sector.

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Moreover, Japan, Mozambique and Bangladesh have also seen increased scores with Bangladesh witnessing civil unrest over 70 days of strikes and accompanying protests, particularly against low wages and poor working conditions in the garments industry, adding to the issues impacting the retail sector.

The retail sector includes venues such as public markets, which remain vulnerable to attack, as seen last year in Kenya. Terrorism remains a variable threat in the Eurasia region, with Russia and Turkey the most affected by the threat through 2013. Additionally, the Winter Olympics in Russia, which will involve significant mass transportation moves, is seen as a potential terrorist target.

Read: What countries have the highest terrorism risk?

When looking at attacks by region, the report found that Brazil was the only Latin American country to see its risk rating increase from medium to severe due to widespread and large-scale violent anti-government protests throughout 2013. The analysis indicates this unrest will likely continue in 2014, particularly ahead of the FIFA World Cup and the October general elections.

Despite some improvements in the ratings—eight decreases and just one increase to the 37 country scores that cover Sub-Saharan Africa in 2014, Africa remains a continent of high political violence and terrorism risk, with 22 countries having high to severe risk ratings.

According to the report, the Middle East is the region most afflicted by terrorism in the world, with a 28% share of all terrorist attacks recorded worldwide in 2013. A new strain of Salafi Jihadism has emerged in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as evidenced by increased levels of terrorism. This is a cause and effect of the limited political recovery of post Arab Spring countries, and has contributed to widespread high-to-severe risk ratings across the region.

Read: Evolving terrorism risks and coverages

“The map shows that while the terrorism threat in the West has declined, other regions are witnessing significant increases in terrorist violence and activity,” said Neil Henderson, head of Aon Risk Solutions’ Crisis Management Terrorism team, in a press release.

The data shows:

  • 34 countries attained reduced country risk scores.
  • Four countries attained increased country risk scores – Brazil, Japan, Mozambique and Bangladesh.
  • In contrast with other regions, Europe saw notable improvement with 11 countries having civil commotion perils removed.
  • Brazil was the only Latin American country to receive an increased risk rating.
  • Overall country scores for Asia Pacific and Oceania region remain broadly stable with only four changes out of 29 countries and territories—South Korea, Malaysia and Samoa all attained reduced risk ratings—while increased military spending and geopolitical tensions in Japan increased the country’s rating.
  • 33% of all high and severe risk countries globally are in sub-Saharan Africa

“The map shows that having the means to understand and stay ahead of terrorism threats and political violence risks has never been more important. Despite signs of global economic recovery, businesses in emerging markets are as exposed as ever to a diversifying array of risks and threats from sophisticated and often highly networked adversaries. New threats can emerge increasing rapidly, as hostile actors evolve faster and emulate tactics that have an ever greater impact, be it through mobilising mass unrest or mounting sustained armed terrorist attacks,” said Henry Wilkinson, head of the Intelligence and Analysis practice at Risk Advisory.

The map can be accessed here

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