Aon Terrorism Threat Map Shows Shift in Sphere of Conflict

The Next Generation: the re-emergence of traditional ideologies

LONDON and CHICAGO, June 2 2009 — A shift in Islamist terrorist activity from the Middle East to South Asia is the primary feature of the Aon 2009 Terrorism Threat Map, launched today by Aon Crisis Management. The map shows a trend towards fewer terrorist attacks in the Middle East but increased activity in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, with Thailand and Nepal also showing higher levels of activity.

The Aon 2009 Terrorism Threat Map, produced in coordination with security consultancy firm Janusian, is derived from data recorded on a new ‘Terrorism Tracker’ database*, which tracks global levels of terrorist activity, including attacks, plots, communiques and government countermeasures. It represents a snapshot of terrorist groups’ intent and capability and provides an indication of the current threat of attack in each country.

Another key trend from this year’s analysis is the re-emergence of terrorist groups with more traditional ideological leanings. Craig Preston, executive director at Aon, explained: “Our analysis shows the re-emergence of groups like the communist Shining Path in Peru and a revolutionary anarchist movement in Greece.

“In a global recession it is not inconceivable that a new generation of terrorists will emerge from disaffected communities in a re-emergence of class-based politics. This raises the prospect of new terrorist groups forming in the developed world on the far right and far left of the ideological spectrum. With the election of a more liberal President in the U.S., it is possible we may see an uplift in activity from domestic far right and militia groups.”

Aon’s 2009 Terrorism Threat Map also shows a more settled outlook for North America, Europe and Australia. Craig explained: “Although the prospect of a major terrorist attack in a Western country is ever present, and there are signs of more sophisticated plots, we have noted that in recent years such attacks have not come to pass. While evidence of plots emerges from time to time, there is often a protracted timeframe between them, and we are unlikely to see the frequency of attacks in Western countries that we might have expected a few years ago. We attribute this to better counter-terrorism capability and some shift of focus among terrorist groups towards establishing new fronts in places like Pakistan and Somalia. In general, operating conditions for terrorists have become more difficult in Western countries as well as in some Middle Eastern countries, such as Saudi Arabia.”

The past year has highlighted the tenacity of leftist/Maoist activity in India and Nepal. Outside India little attention is paid to the activities of the rural conflict in the north east part of the country but Maoist terrorists have become amongst the most prolific in the world. The recent Indian elections led to a significant spike in attacks; in April 2009, 65 terrorist incidents were recorded there.

“Businesses can mitigate a terrorism threat by implementing a proportionate security risk management scheme to identify and reduce the vulnerabilities to personnel and business assets based on an expert risk assessment,” Craig added. “Firms also can transfer their risk through an appropriate insurance policy to reduce the impact of any such attack.”

A copy of the 2009 Terrorism Threat Map can be requested from

The Terrorism Threat Map 2009

Terrorism threat is defined as an assessment of the intent, capability and likelihood of terrorists to stage attacks. The assessments in this Terrorism Threat Map 2009 draw upon empirical data and open source intelligence from the Terrorism Tracker online database.

Terrorism Tracker* records all global terrorist attacks and plots, as well other threat indicators such as terrorist group communiques, counter-terrorist actions and government threat warnings.

Using this data, a panel of analysts from Janusian has assigned threat levels by scoring each country according to the following threat indicators for 2009:

  • Evidence of known and active groups or networks operating in a given country.
  • Their aims and stated objectives.
  • Their track record of terrorist activity, including target selection and activity levels.
  • Their operational capabilities to stage attacks.
  • The likely erosion of terrorist capabilities through the current counter-terrorism regime in the given country.

* A collaboration between Aon and Janusian, Terrorism Tracker is a set of tools to help businesses assess and manage terrorism risk. At its core is the Terrorism Tracker database, which allows subscribers to conduct their own research on terrorist activity around the world and display their results using Google Maps.

The database informs Janusian’s ratings for the annual Aon Terrorism Threat map and supports a monthly newsletter available to Aon’s clients.

About Aon

Aon Corporation (NYSE: AOC) is the leading global provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human capital consulting. Through its more than 37,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon readily delivers distinctive client value via innovative and effective risk management and workforce productivity solutions. Aon’s industry-leading global resources and technical expertise are delivered locally through more than 500 offices in more than 120 countries. Named the world’s best broker by Euromoney magazine’s 2008 and 2009 Insurance Survey, Aon also ranked highest on Business Insurance’s listing of the world’s largest insurance brokers based on commercial retail, wholesale, reinsurance and personal lines brokerage revenues in 2008. A.M. Best deemed Aon the number one insurance broker based on brokerage revenues in 2007 and 2008, and Aon was voted best insurance intermediary, best reinsurance intermediary and best employee benefits consulting firm in 2007 and 2008 by the readers of Business Insurance. For more information on Aon, log onto

About Janusian

Janusian provides security consultancy and services to multinational companies and other large organizations. The Janusian team comprises intelligence analysts and security specialists who co-operate closely to ensure that our advice is appropriate to the threats our clients encounter and their business needs Janusian’s sister company Risk Advisory offers intelligence and investigations services. These include integrity due diligence, strategic intelligence, asset tracing, fraud investigations, system assurance and employee screening.