Industry News

A day rarely goes by when the words “terrorism” and “suspected terrorist attack” are not splashed across the news.



July 2015

With the withdrawal from a campaign in Afghanistan that lasted more than 10 years, the focus of western powers appears to be switching to North Africa. According to Tim Holt from crisis and risk management consultancy Alert:24 the hostage crisis in Algeria, together with the UN-sanctioned French-led offensive against Islamic factions in Mali (and recent shootings in Tunisia) points to a new front for Islamic terrorism across the entire Sahel region of Africa.

Well-funded, equipped and sophisticated Al-Qaeda associated groups continue to spread across Sahel, from Mauritania in the West to the Horn of Africa in the East, bringing with them support from Middle-Eastern and Asian Islamist cells. Osama bin Laden may be gone but the seeds of dissent sown by Al-Qaeda and its franchises continue to inflict fear and violence globally.


Increased globalisation has led to many businesses and individuals, who might be working as contractors for example, travelling to some of the world’s terrorism hotspots. Unsurprisingly, business installations, locals and foreign nationals operating across regions such as North Africa are a high risk target and the danger from kidnap-for- ransom is extreme. To give you an indication of this extremity; Al-Qaeda affiliated organisations in the Sahel have reportedly raised more than one hundred million dollars in ransoms with foreign nationals tending to be held for longer periods with higher ransoms and more diverse demands.


If you or anyone from your business is travelling overseas, the first place to turn to for advice on the safety of the destination is the Foreign Office’s website Travel advice for every country is offered. If travel is required, the below tips should aid you with your planning.

  • Arrange comprehensive travel insurance that includes terrorism and war risk, you may also want cover for accidental death and dismemberment.

  • Check the travel advice for that country on the Foreign Office’s website.

  • Research your destination – know the local laws and customs.

  • Research the health risk on the NHS travel health information page as soon as possible before travelling and if necessary visit your GP.

  • Check your passport is valid and you have all necessary visas.

  • Make copies of important travel documents and/or store them online using secure data storage site.