Welcome to SecureHotel.US. Here, you will find news and commentary on hotel attacks, hotel security, and related legal and insurance issues. It’s also the portal to the Muir Analytics SecureHotel Threat Report; an analysis of global hotel attacks that the hospitality industry can use to help improve the protection of patrons, staff, and assets.

Hotel Attacks

5 November 2017, Chemical agent used on hotel guests, Fresnes (Paris,) France

On Thursday, 2 November at 8:20 pm, four men used a chemical agent to attack as many as 40 tourists (the French press said 80) from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) at the Kyriad Hotel in Fresnes, France, says the South China Morning Post. This was in the Val-de-Marne Department, immediately south of Paris, and just north of Orly Airport. In technical terms, this attack was a raid. As the tourists returned from a shopping trip, the assailants ran into a parking lot used by the hotel and physically assaulted the group’s tour guide. They then sprayed the tourists with tear gas and robbed them as they collapsed from the toxic fumes. The attackers absconded with as many as nine shopping bags filled with luxury goods. The affected tourists were “in a panic” for about an hour and recovered inside the hotel, according to … Continue reading

14 October 2017, Massive explosion demolishes 20 buildings in Mogadishu, including the Safari Hotel

On 14 October 2017, terrorists detonated at least one massive truck bomb – the New York Times says two truck bombs – in front of the Safari Hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, killing 267 and wounding 300, reports NBC News and the Associated Press. The Independent says an ambulance driver in Mogadishu calculated that the death toll is over 300. The Voice of America reports 302 killed, and 429 wounded. These numbers are expected to rise. It is reportedly Somalia’s most deadly terror attack. It is not known what type of explosive was used, but the New York Times says that the attackers drove two bomb-laden trucks through multiple checkpoints and into the city where they detonated. No group has claimed responsibility, though al Shabaab is the main suspect, say Somali intelligence officials. Al Shabaab has waged a terrorist war against the government and … Continue reading

Insurance

28 November 2017, Bloomberg article speculates Mandalay Bay/Vegas concert massacre might cost over $1 billion in insurance payouts

Bloomberg writers Hannah Levitt and Sonali Basak penned the article, “Las Vegas Massacre Could Cost Insurers More Than $1 Billion,” on 10 November. To date, the exactitudes of insurance payouts, the companies involved, what policies did and did not cover, etc., are not forthcoming because it is too early in this sure-to-be contentious liabilities case. Nevertheless, Levitt and Basak offer insight into some of the pressing issues at stake. Highlights of the article are as follows: A multitude of lawsuits could drive the insurance bill for the Las Vegas massacre (called a “man-made disaster” by the insurance industry) to over $1 billion, and that they might continue for years The insurance sector this year (2017) has had to deal with a series of massive payouts, perhaps $130 billion, because of hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires, [and, therefore, it is likely to resist additional payouts…commentary here by … Continue reading

10 September 2017, Insurance AND legal issues impact Regency Hotel Dublin over Feb 2016 gangster attack

The assassination of Irish gangster David Byrne at the Regency Hotel Dublin on 5 February 2016 provides a textbook case study of hotel vs. insurance company wrangling over policies and payouts. The hotel suffered only slight physical damage from the attack, but business losses mounted, and the insurance company did not want to issue a payout. In the end, all parties lost out. The lesson here is that clear and decisive policies – especially regarding violence against hotels – can improve the insurer-client relationship, and justifiable payouts do not have to drown in a sea of litigation. The Regency Hotel Dublin (aka, The Regency Hotel) is a three-star, independent, family-run hotel. Its parent company is Regan Development Ltd. The hotel has a reputation as a lively, warm, and bright gathering place for sporting events, weddings, and other celebrations. The Regency website says it has … Continue reading

Security

21 June 2017, List of security/fire failures, Resorts World Manila attack (updated from 20 June)

Below is a list of security/fire failures regarding the 2 June 2017 active shooter assault on the Resorts World Manila (RWM) complex – specifically, the Maxims Hotel and the casino attached to it. These issues were identified by Philippine lawmakers,* RWM staff, the Manila Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and Muir Analytics. They are arranged by major category. This is by no means the final analysis, and hoteliers, security specialists, liabilities lawyers, and insurers are urged to continue to refine this list as more pertinent information becomes available. *Official hearings, Wednesday, 7 June 2017, held at NAIA-3, the Committee on Public Order and Safety, and the Committee on Games and Amusement. It should be noted that, despite the many failures listed here, RWM security did successfully evacuate over 12,000 guests through 13 exits during the turmoil. This demonstrates the guard force did have … Continue reading

4 November 2016, Terror group specializing in hotel attacks joins ISIS

On 30 October, a group called al-Murabitun (The Sentinels,) which is a faction of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM,) pledged support to ISIS, according to PJ Media and ISISliveuamap.com. A statement by the group, lead by Abul-Walid al-Sahrawi, simply read: “The Murabitun Brigade under leadership of Abul-Walid al-Sahrawi in northern Mali pledges allegiance to Shaykh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and joins the Islamic State.” Al-Sahrawi, an Algerian, had pledged his individual support to ISIS in 2015, but reportedly few, if any, AQIM fighters followed. This caused some confusion in intelligence circles regarding the march of ISIS in North Africa. Now, however, the issue is clear. The better-known senior leader of the Murabitun Brigade, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, appears to be remaining with AQIM at the moment. Belmokhtar previously lead an organization going by several names, including the Masked Brigade, and Those Who Sign in Blood. … Continue reading

Legal

24 November 2017, lawsuits over the October 2017 Las Vegas MGM hotel/concert venue attack pile up

On 20 November, Newsweek reports that a massive lawsuit was filed on behalf of 450 victims against the MGM Mandalay Bay Resort (and others, see below,) for negligence regarding the 1 October mass shooting (effectively, a machinegun attack) by Stephen Paddock on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. Paddock killed 58 and wounded 500. The case was filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Muir Analytics covered the initial attack at its SecureHotel.US website here. Newsweek reports that, immediately following the attack, MGM’s revenue fell 72 %, decreasing from $535.6 million to $149.1 million over the same quarter from 2016 (a loss of $386.5 million.) Hundreds of employees at the Mandalay Bay have been laid off, and multitudes of others have had their hours cut back. This 450-person lawsuit is one of many filed in the wake of the shooting. Newsweek reports … Continue reading

Kate Taylor of The Business Insider writes about potential lawsuits RE: Mandalay Bay Vegas shooting

On 5 October, Kate Taylor of the Business Insider wrote an article titled, “The hotel where the Las Vegas gunman stockpiled weapons for 3 days has been quiet about what happened — and legal experts say it could be in hot water.” Ms. Taylor’s main points in the piece, heavily condensed here, are as follows: Because the Las Vegas gunman took three days to stockpile as many as 23 firearms in his room in as many as 10 suitcases, it seems that someone in housekeeping, management, or security might have noticed this oddity and said something. Lawsuits against the hotel are likely. Liabilities pressure from the Mandalay Bay case could cause hotels to rethink their security, which could include assessing potential threats from guests, which would change various privacy issues. The potential success of any lawsuit in this case “would depend on many … Continue reading

Features

22 June 2017, Resorts World Manila offers victims support in wake of 2 June active shooter attack – other brands usually abandon victims of violence

In the wake of the 2 June 2017 active shooter attack on the Resorts World Manila (RWM) facility – specifically, the Maxims Hotel and attached casino that killed 37 plus the gunman – RWM officials have made several pledges to compensate the families of the deceased and the wounded. On 2 June, RWM Chief Operating Officer Stephen Reilly said the company would offer the victims’ families “full support and assistance.” On 7 June, RWM president Kingson Sian made additional statements regarding educational support for the victims’ families. The combined extent of this support so far is as follows: $21,000 USD per deceased victim’s family (at least half has reportedly been paid out already) Funeral and burial assistance per deceased victim’s family $11,000 USD per injured victim Medical expenses for injured victims Education of the children of the deceased paid for up to college … Continue reading

15 October 1997 Bombing of the Galadari Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka

At 7:00 am on 15 October 1997, terrorists from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) attacked the Galadari Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka, with a massive truck bomb. The main target was, however, the 39-story Sri Lanka World Trade Center that sat directly next to the hotel. The Hilton Colombo was a mere 400 feet from the Galadari. The blast and the light infantry attacks that followed killed 15 and wounded 105. The Galadari Hotel was then, and remains, a five star luxury hotel in the heart of Colombo’s business and government district. It is located at Lotus Rd, Colombo 00100, Sri Lanka. The attack point was a mere 200 yards from a suicide bombing that targeted the Central Bank in 1996, killing 88 and wounding 1,400. The hotel/Trade Center attack was one of hundreds that had happened in Sri Lanka’s bloody … Continue reading