Did you get the full story?
It feels like terrorism is in the news a lot, but does each incident get a proportional amount of media coverage, and are you aware of all your options and rights in case of an attack?
We’ve gone back through our 2017 reports and highlighted acts of terrorism that we believe could have affected British travellers – either directly or indirectly.
Did you see all these incidents in the news? We’re not here to criticise the media for leaving things out, but we do want to help you get an objective view so you can make informed decisions.
Let’s start with January 2017…
A couple had booked a 5-day city break in Istanbul, scheduled to depart on January 2nd 2017 – they had bought budget airline flights and had booked their hotel themselves, they were driving to the airport and had booked to leave their car in a park-and-fly car park near the airport which was also pre-booked and paid for.
They decided only a week before their departure to top-up their existing travel insurance with a Safe Journey insurance policy – paying under £10 for their 5-day trip.
In the early hours of 1st January an attack on the Reina Nightclub in Istanbul killed 39 people and injured 70. There were 600 people in the nightclub at the time of the shooting and the world began 2017 in shock at the senseless act.
Turkish security forces closed off large areas of central Istanbul. In the following 16 days there were over 50 police sweeps both in and around Istanbul, and a temporary media blackout was enforced. The perpetrator of the attack and 51 accomplices were detained, their trial started in December 2017 and is scheduled to recommence March 2018. On searching the main perpetrators apartment in Istanbul, police discovered firearms, ammunition, two drones and $200,000 in cash.
On hearing of the attack on New Year’s Day, our clients decided they didn’t really want to go to Istanbul for their break at this time, so they chose to use Safe Journey’s comprehensive cover to cancel their trip*. All costs for their trip were protected by their Safe Journey insurance and their claim was settled in full before the first week of the new year had ended.
A machete wielding attacker was shot by French soldiers who were guarding the Louvre. The attacker’s intentions remain unclear but it’s quite obvious he wanted to deface works of art with his cans of spray paint and to inflict damage on any security personnel that he came across.
- Flights in and out of Paris Orly airport were disrupted badly after a jihadist attempted to steal an armed police officer’s gun. The attacker was eventually shot within the airport, but travel was disrupted significantly, and all flights were delayed.
It’s worth noting that travel delays are covered by Safe Journey, so had you been delayed by this incident you could have claimed for some expenses during your wait.
- London’s Westminster Bridge attack was caused by a man driving into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge; 49 were injured, 7 critically and one police officer died.
Does Safe Journey cover trips within the UK? Of course it does.
Anyone with overnight accommodation booked within 40 miles of the attack for the following 42 days was able to have cancelled their trip, or curtailed their trip.
- In Brussels, one woman was critically injured and two others were seriously injured on 30 March when several knife-wielding Turkish men attacked Kurds arriving at the Turkish Consulate in Brussels to cast their vote for the Turkish Constitutional Referendum. Once again Brussels became a crime-scene and areas of the city were placed under tight security.
- The St Petersburg metro bombing on 3rd April killed 16 and injured 64 on the day Vladimir Putin was due to visit the city.
The underground system features many works of art and is considered to be the most elegant and attractive metro in the world – it is in itself something that many tourists go to see, never mind carrying 2 million people daily and as the world’s deepest transport system, reaching depths of 86m below ground.
Each year around 150,000 UK nationals travel to St Petersburg and Safe Journey will add extra financial protection should attacks of this type prevent you from travelling or simply give you the choice about travelling to unsafe destinations. There have been numerous Islamic State claimed attacks throughout Russia in 2017.
- A gun attack took place in Paris on the Champs-Elysees, just before the French Presidential Elections, killing one person and injuring three. ISIL (Islamic State in the Lavant) claimed responsibility, and the attack was largely an attempt to destabilise democracy.
- In Tel Aviv four people were injured after being stabbed by an 18-year-old Palestinian at two different beach hotels on the busy waterfront. Police at the scene confirmed that the attack was terror-related. There have been numerous terrorist attacks in Israel in 2017.
- In Athens a small explosive device detonated outside a building housing Eurobank offices in central Athens, damaging its entrance and shattering windows. Fortunately, no wounded were reported on this occasion.
- Multiple bomb attacks in Thailand affected central Bangkok and Pattani – and these were in areas popular with tourists.
Over 60 people were injured and one local killed. The attacks are carried out by local insurgents within Southern Thailand where attacks have become more frequent and more violent. There have been multiple attacks every month in Thailand throughout 2017.
- In central Rome two car bombs were detonated outside a post office – fortunately no-one was killed or injured.
- Central Milan saw three security personnel stabbed by a man inspired by ISIL.
- 22 died and 512 were injured in an Islamic terror attack on Manchester at the end of the Ariana Grande concert.
- In Kenya there were multiple attacks in the last week of the month by the terrorist group called Al Shabab, causing multiple fatalities and injuries.
Over 100,000 British nationals visit Kenya annually. Attacks in Kenya have been very frequent throughout 2017.
- 8 people were killed and 48 were injured when a van was driven into pedestrians over London Bridge, and after crashing the attackers ran into Borough Market in London, randomly stabbing innocent people before being shot by the police.
The aftermath saw numerous underground and mainline stations closed at the request of the police and local buildings evacuated in what was an act of Islamist extremism. The Market was closed for 11 days and 8 London bridges had concrete blocks installed to protect pedestrians as a result of this attack.
- In Melbourne one person died and three were injured in a siege inspired by ISIL.
- Another attack in Paris outside Notre Dame Cathedral saw a policeman injured with a hammer before the assailant was shot by police.
- A gunman targeting republican lawmakers, opened fire at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, USA leaving at least five wounded and the attacker dead.
- A terrorist ran into Brussels Central Station where he detonated a small bomb which caused no injuries. Still carrying a suicide vest, he ran to another part of the station. There he was shot and killed by soldiers who were guarding the station. The attempted attack was considered to have failed
- In Mecca 11 people were injured when an attacker detonated his suicide vest during a police raid.
- A vehicle rammed into people walking out of a mosque in the Finsbury Park neighbourhood of London. This is the third vehicle ramming attack in London in the past 3 months and the second to happen in June. One person died and 10 were injured in this attack.
- A police officer was seriously injured when he was stabbed in the neck by a terrorist at Bishop International Airport in Michigan, USA. The airport was evacuated and a large cordon was established around the area.
And that’s not even the half of it… We know this is heavy going, so we’ll continue with the recap next week.
Safe Journey will provide financial protection for the disruption that is caused by terrorism and gives you the freedom to choose whether to continue to travel to a destination that has been affected*, or to leave an area prematurely if an act of terrorism has taken place.
You don’t necessarily have to be on holiday either: business travel is also covered by Safe Journey. All you need is an overnight accommodation booking or a flight ticket which has been pre-paid, and a Safe Journey policy that was purchased before an attack. An annual policy costs just over £15 – it’s a lot of peace of mind wherever you plan on travelling to, and it’s based on our philosophy of travelling prepared, not scared.
*Every Safe Journey policy includes cancellation cover: you have the option to cancel if there’s an act of terrorism anywhere within a 40-mile radius of your destination, up to 6 weeks before your departure. For full terms, conditions and exclusions please read our Policy Wording.