Last week, we looked at acts of terrorism that may have affected British travellers in the first half of 2017.
In addition to the tragic loss of lives, injuries, and damage to property, many of these attacks caused far-reaching chaos with delays or closures at airports, stations and metros, and resulted in a lot of uncertainty and worry about travel in the affected areas.
Would your travel insurance have covered cancellation or curtailment* if you had been affected by one of those attacks? So many policies exclude terrorism or limit cover substantially, so always check your policy wording carefully, and top up to ensure you’re fully covered.
Today, we continue with key incidents that took place between July and December last year. Please remember, this is a summary of the incidents we feel are important to take note of – it isn’t a complete list of every attack that took place in 2017.
- Hamburg, Germany – One person died and six were injured in an attack in a supermarket.
- In Marseille, France a bomb exploded outside an office. Fortunately, no-one was injured.
- On 14 July 2017 a former university student from the Nile Delta region swam from a public beach to each of two resort hotel beaches at Hurghada, Egypt on the Red Sea and stabbed five German, one Armenian and one Czech tourist. All stabbing victims were women, and three died as a result of their wounds.
The perpetrator shouted that the Egyptian hotel personnel who gave pursuit after the stabbings at the second beach should "Stay back, I am not after Egyptians." Nevertheless, hotel personnel pursued and captured the attacker.
It should be noted that attacks in the Sinai Peninsula were frequent throughout 2017 and very few of these attacks have been covered by the UK press.
- Paris again: a car rammed into a group of a dozen soldiers in Levallois-Perret, close to Paris. Six soldiers were injured, three seriously. The perpetrator fled the scene and police later shot, wounded and arrested a suspect.
- A car ploughed into a group of people marching peacefully during protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. One person was killed and 19 were injured.
- In Finland, two people were killed and eight others sustained injuries in a stabbing attack in central Turku
- 14 people were killed and at least 130 injured when a 22-year-old man drove into pedestrians on Barcelona’s crowded promenade, La Rambla. Nine hours later, a second attack in nearby Cambrils killed one per
- Seven people were wounded in a knife attack in the Russian city of Surgut. The attacker stabbed passers-by on the street at random, and was shot dead by police
- A police officer sustained facial injuries after he was stabbed by an Israeli jihadist outside a concert in Warsaw, Poland.
- Two soldiers were slightly injured after a machete-wielding man attacked them in Brussels. The perpetrator was shot dead at the scene, and the surrounding area was promptly evacuated
- Three police officers arrested a 26-year-old man in possession of a 4-foot long samurai sword inside a car near Buckingham Palace, London. The man had stopped his car after driving it towards a police vehicle. The police officers were slightly injured whilst making the arrest
- There were 7 separate terrorist attacks in Turkey this month, which is roughly the number of attacks in Turkey every month in 2017. Few of these target tourists, but visitors must be extremely vigilant about where they travel, and only stay in safe areas.
- 30 were injured in London after a homemade bomb partially exploded on a District Line tube train at Parsons Green tube station.
- In Edmonton, Canada, a police officer was stabbed near Commonwealth Stadium and four pedestrians were injured by a fleeing rental van.
- Numerous attacks in Thailand, Kenya, Turkey, and Egypt this month were not reported by UK media.
- A man attacked and killed two women with a knife at Saint Charles Station in Marseille, France. He was shot dead by police officers.
- A pickup truck rammed into pedestrians near the World Trade centre in New York City, killing eight people and injuring 11 others. An ISIS flag and a note that read "Islamic State lives forever" in Arabic were found near the truck. The attacker was self-radicalised, and he had followed the IS group's advice on social media on how to carry out vehicular attacks.
- Over 300 died and over 130 were injured according to security sources in the Sinai region of Egypt in one of the year’s most devastating attacks. Explosives had been placed around the mosque and were set alight when the faithful came out after Friday prayers. The attackers then shot at the survivors. This is just one of the many attack in this region during 2017.
- Tunisia is back on the ‘OK to travel’ map again we note – despite numerous terrorist attacks within the country during 2017.
- A man carrying a Palestinian flag attacked a Jewish restaurant in Amsterdam with a club while shouting ‘Allahu Akbar'. There were no injuries in the attack, but the restaurant's windows were destroyed as two police officers looked on without intervening.
The attacker, a 29-year-old Syrian, was released by Dutch authorities on December 20, despite evidence that the man had acted as a trained combatant in Syria's civil war, and despite his claims that he would again resort to violence if sufficiently angered. He also made a statement to the Dutch court that his attack on the restaurant was “only the first step.”
This was just one of many attacks probably triggered by the announcement that the USA would move its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Other similarly motivated attacks were reported in Sweden and Israel.
- Holidays for many in New York were disrupted when a pipe bomb was detonated on a walkway below the Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan. Whilst this was generally considered an unsuccessful attack injuring only 5 people including the attacker, police closed off the area, which meant that numerous travellers scheduled to depart from the terminal on the next leg of their USA holidays were delayed or diverted.
One of the biggest lessons of 2017 is that we simply cannot predict where and when an act of terrorism will take place. Safe Journey’s philosophy hasn’t changed though: more than ever, we believe we shouldn’t stay home or live in fear – but we should be prepared, arm ourselves with as much information as possible, and protect ourselves financially, just in case we are affected.
*Safe Journey provides comprehensive terrorism travel insurance which can be added to any existing policy. It includes cover for cancellation if there’s an act of terrorism anywhere within 40 miles of your destination, up to 6 weeks prior to your departure. You can read our full inclusions, exclusions, terms and conditions here.
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