Pool Re, the terrorism reinsurance pool, has published its latest Terrorism Frequency Report which analyses the risk landscape of the UK and internationally, focusing on the ‘post-Caliphate’ generation of extremists. It examines the threat posed by those convicted terrorists who’ve already been released, or are soon to be, and looks at the practical steps some businesses are taking to protect their assets, employees and the continuity of their operations.
The report anticipates that the attacks of 2017 have led to a lower tolerance for risk within counter-terrorism investigations, which could result in earlier plot disruptions, leading to weaker evidential yields which would not be enough to convict suspects of the more serious terrorist offences which attract longer jail terms. This, in turn, would lead to quicker release from prison. Thus, the cycle of conviction, sentencing and imprisonment would be shortened, so amplifying the terrorism threat to business and people in the UK.
In addition, the report finds the release of convicted terrorists – recently or in the near future – will keep the current UK terrorism threat level at SEVERE for a prolonged period. Such individuals include al Muhajiroun co-founder Anjem Choudary, Erol Incedal and members of the al Qaeda cell who attempted to bring down transatlantic planes with liquid explosives in 2006.
Julian Enoizi, Chief Executive, Pool Re said, “plot disruptions are at a high level and the preparation of attacks is likely to continue. The private sector should mitigate risk by reducing the likelihood of being caught up in an attack; and be prepared to recover quickly if attacks do occur. At Pool Re, we stand ready to help strengthen economic resilience by covering non-damage business interruption as soon as the legislation, currently going through Parliament, is passed.”
The latest Pool Re report documents the experience of Canary Wharf’s intelligence and security specialists, who responded to the elevated threat following attacks across the UK in 2017 by assessing terrorist tactics, Islamist extremist propaganda and the possible use of chemical weapons. Security measures, planning, training and public education were enhanced considerably following these assessments – for example training private security teams how to recognise the smell of chemicals which may be used in a terrorist attack.