Terrorism Threat More Diverse Nine Years After 9/11

Commercial aviation, distinctive Western brand names such as American hotel chains, Israeli/Jewish targets and U.S. soldiers fighting in Muslim countries are the more likely future terrorist targets, according to a new report by the Bipartisan Policy Center’s National Security Group.

Release of the report coincides with the nine-year anniversary of September 11 – the largest loss in the history of insurance until Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The 9/11 attack produced insured losses of $39.4 billion (adjusted to 2009 dollars), including property, business interruption, aviation, workers compensation, life and liability claims.

The report finds that the terrorism threat facing the U.S. today is more complex and more diverse than at any time in the past nine years.

While the report’s authors believe mass casualty attacks involving weapons of mass destruction are now unlikely, they point to the increasingly prominent role in planning and operations that U.S. citizens and residents have played in terrorist groups. They also note the increasing growth and diversification of homegrown terrorist threats:

The U.S. is arguably now little different from Europe in terms of having a domestic terrorist problem involving immigrant and indigenous Muslims as well as converts to Islam. The diversity of these latest foot soldiers in the wars of terrorism being waged against the U.S. underscores how much the terrorist threat has changed since the September 11, 2001, attacks.†

For more on the report’s findings, check out an article in the Wall Street Journal. Check out the I.I.I. white paper Terrorism Risk: A Reemergent Threat for more information on how terrorism risk impacts property/casualty insurers.

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