The latest Global Terrorism Index (GTI) – one of the most carefully researched reports on terrorism currently available – was published on 15 November by the Institute for Economics and Peace. These annual reports provide excellent insights into terrorism trends, international developments, and safety, and this report shows a continued shift in the nature of terrorism.
An overall decrease in terrorism is largely the result of a significant decrease in countries such as Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan – in many cases due to military action being taken against terrorist groups. The GTI points out, however, that two thirds of all countries experienced some kind of terrorist attack in 2016. Fortunately, these did not all result in deaths, but this does show that terrorism has spread and it’s harder to predict where it will take place.
What we understand from this information is that while direct effects (death and injury) are less likely, the chances of being indirectly affected by terrorism are higher. That’s why our customers value Safe Journey’s cover for delays, personal possessions and withdrawal of services, in addition to cancellation and curtailment if there’s an act of terrorism within 40 miles of your accommodation – please see below for full details.
Many of the GTI’s results have elements of ‘good news and bad news’:
- Terrorism decreased by 13% from 2015 to 2016, but there was an increase in OECD countries. (OECD members include EU countries, USA and UK.)
- Of the 20 worst terrorism incidents during 2016, the vast majority took place in Iraq and Afghanistan. The vehicle attack in Nice is the only OECD attack on the list of “20 most fatal” attacks, but there were a number of other serious attacks in OECD countries that didn’t make the list, including the Berlin Christmas Market and Brussels Airport and Metro attacks.
- “Globally, attacks against civilians increased by 17 percent from 2015 to 2016. The primary targets of terrorists are private citizens and property.”
- Egypt and Turkey saw significant increases in terrorism – we’ll be taking a closer look at these statistics next week.
How We Can Be Affected
The GTI confirms: “The OECD accounted for one per cent of global deaths from terrorism in 2016. This is an increase from 0.1 percent in 2010.”
Civilian targets – including tourist and public areas – have continued to become more common, as have “lone wolf” attacks. This is no surprise as we see it in the news all the time, and while these individuals are usually not able to do as much damage as organised attacks, they are more difficult for police to track.
The report highlights the following:
- Since 2014, ISIL (Isis/Islamic State) directed or ISIL-inspired attacks have occurred in 18 of the 33 OECD countries
- Since 2014, there has been a shift in tactics toward simpler attacks against non-traditional targets
Most of us visit OECD countries when we travel, so it’s important to be aware of these changes and to take the necessary precautions.
The statistics reported in GTI 2017 reinforce our view that we must all be aware of terrorism, but that the risk is not so high that we should stay home or live in fear. Rather, we need to be prepared, and that can take the form of critical information, as well as financial protection – just in case.
We at Safe Journey are committed to helping you make every journey safer with comprehensive, cost-effective terrorism travel insurance so you can top up with extra peace of mind. This includes 24/7 emergency assistance, medical repatriation, delays, and cancellation** if there’s an attack anywhere within 40 miles of your destination, any time in the 6 weeks before your departure date – giving you the freedom to book ahead and the right to make safer choices.
*Number of countries affected is based on countries that experiences at least 1 death due to terrorism in the year in question.
** Cancellation and other cover mentioned here is a summary only – for full details of inclusions, exclusions, terms and conditions, please read our Policy Wording.