Preventing Terrorism

News over the past weekend included a foiled terrorist plot, in which four people were arrested in Montpellier, France, on 10 February. Authorities have stated that the group, including a 16-year-old girl, had been planning an “imminent attack” on Paris.

A few months ago we learned that about 10 attacks had been prevented in the UK alone during 2015-16, but as we hear a lot more about incidents that do take place, it can seem like not very many are intercepted.

Many governments prefer not to release information of all attacks prevented, for security reasons, but we discovered a page on Wikipedia listing attempted acts of terrorism that were prevented. Although Wikipedia isn’t always 100% accurate, we felt this provided a good indication of the situation.

 

Number of Incidents

The first thing one notices about the list of intercepted attacks is the vast increase over the past few years. From three incidents in 2012, and two in 2013 (possibly also due to lack of information available) the article lists seven for 2014, increasing to 19 in 2015, and 45 in 2016.

While these statistics include attempted attacks in countries such as Iran and Afghanistan which are known for extremely high terrorism threat levels, there were also many in Europe, and unlike incidents which did result in damage or casualties (see our story on finding facts and assessing risk), many of these were not covered by the media.

 

Perspective

Europol stated in a press release that during 2015, EU members faced 211 “failed, foiled, and completed” attacks, and that 1077 people were arrested for terrorist activities – 94% of whom were convicted.

The graph below shows that the number of arrests is increasing at a faster rate than the number of attacks or attempted attacks. We believe this is a very reassuring sign that the majority of potential or attempted attacks are being thwarted, and authorities are doing an excellent job.

[caption id="attachment_777" align="alignnone" width="590"] Europol TE-SAT 2016 report illustrates the number of incidents vs. number of arrests per year[/caption]

 

The Future

Governments and police forces are involved in programmes to share information and improve their results even more. A meeting of European police chiefs took place on 7-8 February, in which almost 100 high-ranking officials discussed ways to enhance counter-terrorism.

Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol, said: “Europe is facing the most serious terrorist threat for over ten years. The increasing transnational nature of terrorist groups and their activities demand ever closer collaboration between relevant law enforcement authorities across Europe. The European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC) has been established at Europol for this purpose. I am pleased by the confidence expressed in the work of this centre by the police chiefs meeting in Berlin and by their clear commitment to enhance collaboration efforts even further.”

We can’t hide from every risk, but we can all play our part in preventing acts of terrorism by reporting any suspicious activities or items, and co-operating with authorities in investigations or emergency situations. Remember, they’re there to help us! We believe that the above statistics should remind us that there is a risk against which we can protect ourselves, but should also reassure us that we’re being looked after.

 

Single Trip Cover

From £5.17* per person

  • Travel insurance that covers disinclination to travel if your destination is affected by terrorism before you travel.
  • Safe Journey provides comprehensive travel insurance just for acts of terrorism.
  • Single Trip insurance provides cover for up to 180 days of continuous travel.
  • Available for singles, couples and families and with no maximum age limit and no medical screening requirements.
  • For Business and Leisure travellers.
  • For UK, Channel Island and Isle of Man residents when travelling in the UK and abroad, when you have booked and pre-paid your flights or accommodation.
  • Safe Journey covers up to £2000 per person for travel arrangements, if where you are staying is affected by terrorism and you want to return home.
  • Travel delays caused by acts of terrorism are covered.
  • Personal possessions including money and passports are protected whilst you travel against damage or loss as a result of acts of terrorism.
  • 24 hour (UK based) emergency assistance to help you after an act of terrorism.
  • Maximum excess per claim £100
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*For up to 8 days travel, Worldwide. £53.73 for 180 days continuous travel, Worldwide.

Annual Multi-Trip Cover

From £15.66 per person

  • Travel insurance that covers disinclination to travel if your destination is affected by terrorism before you travel.
  • Safe Journey provides comprehensive travel insurance just for acts of terrorism.
  • Annual Multi-Trip insurance for travel durations of up to 31 days, for each trip you take during a year.
  • Available for singles, couples and families and with no maximum age limit and no medical screening requirements.
  • For Business and Leisure travellers.
  • For UK, Channel Island and Isle of Man residents when travelling in the UK and abroad, when you have booked and pre-paid flights or accommodation.
  • Safe Journey covers up to £2000 per person for travel arrangements, if where you are staying is affected by terrorism and you want to return home.
  • Travel delays caused by acts of terrorism are covered.
  • Personal possessions including money and passports are protected whilst you travel against damage or loss as a result of acts of terrorism.
  • 24 hour (UK based) emergency assistance to help you after an act of terrorism.
  • Maximum excess per claim £100
Buy now

†31 Days any-one-trip, Worldwide.

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