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Volume 27, Issue 3

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May 3, 2013

Terrorism: understanding & mitigation

The World Economic Forum recently issued its 8th report on Global Risks. It examines different threats on a twin axis of impact and likelihood. It should come as no surprise that terrorism remains towards the higher end of the spectrum, a fact of particular concern given that it can have an immediate financial impact.

While developed countries have suffered comparatively few major attacks since 9/11, in general global terrorist activity has increased significantly over the past decade. If anything, the fragmentation of Al Qaeda has brought greater unpredictability as new groups emerge that may share Al Qaeda's beliefs but are not funded by them. Some of the most high-profile attacks over recent years have been the Madrid bombings in 2004 (where 191 people died and damage was $125m), the London attacks in 2005 and Mumbai in 2008 (where 170 people died and damage to three hotels totalled more than $110m) plus suicide bombings across Moscow.