While there has been a net decrease in levels of terrorist threat across the globe in the past year, there looks to be heightened terrorist activity, war and civil unrest in 2015.
This is according to the 2015 Terrorism & Political Violence Risk Map, published by risk management group, Aon.
The map – and its analysis – is based on empirical data from Risk Advisory Group and Aon, which looks to provide its clients with “telling insights” into their risk exposures across the world.
“Political violence risks are moving to the top of many global companies’ agendas. High profile crises spanned the spectrum of insurable political violence risks in 2014,” the group said.
“Our findings this year suggest 2015 is liable to see similar instability, with heightened terrorism, war, and civil unrest risks present in many regions, including among the developed economies.”
According to the group’s findings, 21 countries have reduced their terrorist risk status, while 13 countries have increased risk, showing a net improvement at a country level.
However, with an increase of terrorist activity in the west, eastern Europe, the Middle East and east Asia, more countries had ‘conflict perils’ added (11) than removed (5).
Notably, although Sub-Saharan Africa doesn’t have the highest overall risk coverage, it is considered the highest at risk for terrorist attacks and civil unrest.
“Nearly 80% of all terrorist attacks in this period occurred in just two countries – Nigeria and Somalia,” the report said, noting, however, that Southern Africa (including South Africa) remains fairly low risk.
South Africa has maintained its “low-risk” status, though remains susceptible to strikes, riots, civil commotion and malicious damage.
“The overall country risk level for South Africa remains at low. There is a low threat of terrorism and minimal risk of armed conflict or regime instability,” Risk Advisory said.
“Risk Advisory has not recorded any terrorist attacks or plots in the country. However, a strikes and protest peril remains. This is due in large part to regular industrial action by trade unions in a range of sectors.”
Terrorism in South Africa
The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) released by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) in November 2014 placed South Africa among the top 50 nations in the world for terrorist activity.
South Africa ranked 48th, tied with Malaysia, in the index, which tracks and measures incidences of terrorism over time and analyses its changing patterns in terms of geographic activity, methods of attack, organisations involved and the national economic and political context.
While south Africa has no direct terrorist threats or activity, there is a degree of terrorist association, which has lead to the country climbing the GTI from 104th position in 2010, to 48th in 2014.
It was previously reported by Sapa that South Africa has been used by global terror networks since 1990, with an Al-Qaeda presence first arriving 1997.
In February 2015, head of business crime and forensics at Werksmans, Bernard Hotz noted that south Africa was becoming an increasingly attractive destination for terrorists thanks to lawlessness and general government corruption, which opens a wide range of terrorist financing methods.
According to the GTI, the country with the most terrorist activity in the world is Iraq, which saw 6,362 people killed and 14,947 injured in 2,492 terrorist incidents in 2013, the report said.
Iraq was also the country with the biggest increase in deaths, with nearly 4,000 more fatalities from terrorism in 2013 than 2012.