Friday 16 January 2015

Increased Terrorist attack risk - precautions

The asymmetric war approach of ISIL and Al Qaeda  will inevitably mean attacks within Western World countries. Many of these will be detected and aborted by security forces, but some will take place. Some attacks will be retaliatory as a consequence of terrorist attacks. The incidents may even take the form of rioting. What is different at the moment is that many more hot heads and fanatics will gain access and exposure to battle conditions. They will also gain access to military weapons and explosives. In some cases terrorists will be assigned targets and resources to carry out attacks.

In reality these attacks are quite rare. Some organisations are at greater risk than others as a consequence of their operations, such as the Charlie Hebdo offices or the kosher Jewish supermarket, but sometimes the attacks are random. Consider for example the print works in Dammartin-en-Goele France where the terrorists took refuge and a hostage while on the run.

Your premises might be located adjacent to another organisations whose building is at risk.

There is also the risk of rioting and other action as people protest about the growing disparity between to elite 1% and the 99% general public. Some companies may be targeted if they are seen to be taking advantage of the poor. This type of action is not far from the surface. In the UK there were widespread localised riots in 2011 triggered by the shooting of Mark Duggan.

Employers have a duty of care for their employees. It also makes good business sense to also protect their company assets. Employers should each geographic location of their organisation:
  • Assess the risk of terrorist actions;
  • Plan for action in the event of an attack or hostage situation;
  • Document the plan;
  • Train and inform their employees;
  • Improve security;
  • Install measures to mitigate the consequences of an attack;
  • Protect sensitive information;
  • Plan evacuation and/or refuge;
  • Install methods to alert the authorities and senior management/owners;
  • Integrate with the company business continuity planning.
Action should take place now. Waiting until the attack takes place is not helpful.

We'll be producing a series of articles discussing the above list of points and they'll be published soon. If any of our readers like to see these articles, please add a comment or send us an email expressing interest

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