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The annual Terrorism and Political Violence Map published recently has highlighted 2015 as the most lethal year for terrorist violence in Europe in nearly a decade, with terrorists increasingly targeting private citizens and public gatherings. This marks the first net increase in global terrorism risk ratings since 2013, with the risk ratings of eighteen countries experiencing an increase and thirteen countries seeing a decrease.
Aon Risk Solutions, who has published the report, says that ever since it has began collecting empirical data to create the map in 2007, shootings have overtaken bombings in the Western world, while the targeting of civilians in public spaces has become more commonplace. Since January 2015, nearly one-third (31 percent) of all attacks in the Western world targeted private citizens and public gatherings.
The global threat posed by ISIS dominates many of the map findings this year, as the group entered a more aggressive phase of mounting mass casualty attacks in 2015 and early 2016, with the United States, France, Turkey, and Belgium all affected. The terrorist organization’s activities have contributed to sustaining or increasing risk levels in more than a dozen countries worldwide. Far-right activism as well as civil unrest risks stemming from the European migrant crisis and the increasing influence of extremist parties have also driven rating increases.
“Our 2016 map demonstrates increasing regional instability and a growing spectrum of potential risks,” said Scott Bolton, director in Crisis Management at Aon Risk Solutions. “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.”