Pool Re publishes latest Monthly Threat Update for August 2021


Authored by Pool Re

There were no confirmed terrorist attacks in the UK, Western Europe or North America in August 2021. However, a shooting by a self-described ‘incel’ in Plymouth, which resulted in the deaths of five civilians and the gunman, may be reclassified as terrorism according to Devon and Cornwall police. This was the first confirmed case of incel-related violence to take place in the UK, although police have disrupted several planned attacks in recent years.

Internationally, the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, driving government forces from Kabul on 15 August. Taliban rule in Afghanistan is likely to destabilise the wider region as well as increase the terrorist threat to the West. There is a realistic possibility the Taliban will provide a haven for Islamist terrorist groups, like Al-Qaeda (AQ). Furthermore, the situation in Afghanistan will likely result in long-running instability which would likely be exploited by Islamist extremists seeking ungoverned territory from which they can plan and prepare attacks against the West. In the short-term, the perception of a Western military defeat by the Taliban is likely to embolden Islamist extremists worldwide. Consequently, threat of terrorism in the UK and elsewhere will likely increase in future.

Domestically, the inquiry into the February 2020 attack in Streatham has found that authorities had missed the opportunity to prevent the attack. Jurors found that when police identified that the attacker, Sudesh Amman, was buying material for his hoax suicide belt, he should have been recalled to prison. Jurors also determined that the killing of Amman by covert officers was lawful.

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About Pool Re

Pool Re’s purpose is to enable the UK insurance market to offer terrorism cover to any commercial property that requires it. Central to this is the integration of Pool Re’s cover with the underlying property policy which ensures that there is no gap in the cover provided.

Pool Re was designed to insulate the taxpayer from potential financial losses arising from acts of terrorism. It has achieved this effectively, to date paying £635m in respect of 13 claims arising from certified terrorism events in the UK since our establishment. It has never called on the Government’s guarantee.

By providing foundational stability at a reinsurance level, Pool Re has created an environment for the commercial market to re-establish itself, following the market failure in 1992. This stability creates and sustains access, liquidity and confidence to generate the conditions for the private market to gradually write a growing portion of terrorism risk.

Helping UK businesses build resilience against terrorism risk is a priority for Pool Re who have developed SOLUTIONS an in-house centre of excellence created to support Members and policyholders better understand risk awareness, modelling, and management. They have also invested in a range of initiatives with Government security and intelligence agencies to provide tools such as an information sharing platform.


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