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Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Substantial drop in Egypt terror risk

Egypt saw the third largest annual decrease in terrorism risk globally between May 2018 and May 2019, according to a global assessment by insurance broker Marsh, which gave us a World Risk Review score of 7.0 in its 2019 Terrorism Risk Insurance Report (pdf). The World Risk Review provides ratings across the security, trading and investment environments across the world. The higher the figure, the riskier the environment. Our decrease in terrorism risk by a factor 1.1 was behind only South Sudan and China, due to the government’s February 2018 counterterrorism campaign, which has reduced attacks to the west of the Suez Canal. Daesh retains capabilities in Sinai, however, and is likely to continue attacks against religious minorities and security forces, the report says.

In MENA, the rate of terrorism is declining, but the landscape is diversifying: More than half of global terrorist attacks on public areas took place in the MENA region between 2014 and 2018, according to the report. The attacks numbered 1,940 and they caused 15,512 deaths. But despite declining since 2017, attacks increasingly target both civilians and infrastructure at large. Both Egypt and Saudi Arabia face the threat of international energy and fuel suppliers being targeted, with roadside IEDs posing particularly high risks to cargo in Egypt, especially along the Suez-Ismailia-Port Said road. Regionally, Yemen’s Houthi militants have shown that they have both the intent and capability to target aviation facilities, sea vessels and oil infrastructure. And the energy sectors of both Algeria and Iraq remain especially vulnerable to cross-border attacks.

This trend is also being exhibited at the global level: 2018 saw 15,819 acts of terrorism, insurgency, and politically or ideologically motivated violence, resulting in 13,570 fatalities. This is a significant decrease from 21,274 attacks committed in 2014. But the evolving nature of terrorism means that new threats are likely to emerge, with increasingly decentralized structures making them particularly difficult to counter.

And the global economic impact of terrorism shot up to USD 83 bn per year between 2013 and 2017: The global economic impact of terrorism has skyrocketed in the past decade, with Marsh estimating that total costs average out at USD 83 bn per year between 2013 and 2017 — roughly a fourfold increase from between 2002 and 2007. Tourism and retail are particularly vulnerable sectors, with businesses losing an estimated USD 1.4 mn from the 2017 London Bridge attack alone.

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