Terrorism: A Reemergent Threat

A Qatari diplomat earlier this week triggered a mid-air emergency when he allegedly sneaked a smoke aboard a flight to Denver, resulting in the scrambling of F-16 fighter jets and subsequent passenger delays lasting hours. The incident has sparked numerous stories, including today’s New York Times article titled Few Worry About Overreaction. The gist of the NYT report is that while the possibility of overreaction to perceived threats is by now a familiar problem in the age of terrorism, in this case there was little second-guessing of the broad security alert in response to a situation that ultimately turned out to have posed no significant threat. Just yesterday we published a paper reviewing the reemerging threat of terrorism and its impacts for property/casualty insurers. In it we discuss how recent developments such as the March 29 Moscow subway bombings and the thwarted Christmas Day bombing on board a U.S.-bound flight are propelling terrorism into the headlines once more and reaffirm the risk facing insurers.  The paper  observes that while nearly nine years may have passed since the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, a number of converging factors point to the fact that terrorism is a reemerging and perhaps growing threat for the decade ahead. The report can be accessed on the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) Web site at www.iii.org/paper/Terrorism-040810/. Check out  I.I.I. facts and stats on terrorism.

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