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

4 June 2017, Update on Resorts World Manila attack

On 3 June, Resorts World Manila released comprehensive CCTV footage of the 2 June attack on its Maxims Hotel and casino. The resort’s Chief Security Officer, Armeen Gomez, narrated the footage. Watch the video and read the article here. So far, the resort and police say 38 were killed, and as many as 70 were wounded. A synopsis of the attack is as follows: The gunman, identified as a large, Philippine-looking man, approached the hotel via taxi at 12:07 a.m., demonstrating no ill intent or weaponry. He kept his attack kit and weaponry inside his large black backpack. (Since posting, he has been identified as Jessie Carlos Javier, Philippine citizen, 42 years old, and with financial problems; read more about him here.) Once inside the hotel elevators, the gunman appeared to put on a mask. From there, he drew his M-4 carbine (a short … Continue reading

1 June 2017 – Initial coverage of Manila resort attack

The Enquirer, a Philippines-based news outlet, reports that just after midnight on Thursday (Friday, 2 June, Manila Time), that either a single gunman or a group of gunmen attacked the Resorts World Manila complex in Newport City, a section of Manila. Initial casualty figures by The Manila Times are 25 wounded. Gunshots were heard on video posted on Channel News Asia, and smoke was coming from one of the main buildings. Reports said a man (or men) dressed in black and wearing masks assaulted the complex with firearms and set parts of a building on fire. Photos from The Sun indicate the attack might have included a car bomb. The complex is currently on lockdown, and first responders – medical, fire, and SWAT – are at the scene. The Daily News and The Sun both report that ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack. … Continue reading

Insurance

10 October 2016, UK Pool Re announces international terrorism risk pool forum

On 10 October, the Insurance Journal wrote that the UK’s government-backed Pool Re, which covers commercial property losses from terror attacks, had launched the International Forum of Terrorism Risk Re/Insurance Pools (IFTRIP.) IFTRIP is designed to build relationships and increase cooperation amongst other national pool res around the world. It was started in response to the dramatic increase in global terrorism. The Insurance Journal reported the following key points about IFTRIP: IFTRIP was formally launched on 10 October 2016 at the 2nd Annual Global Terrorism Risk Insurance Congress, hosted by the Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation (ARPC,) Australia’s pool re, in Canberra The overarching goals of IFTRIP are to: 1) improve how the insurance sector reacts to terrorism, and 2) improve how nations protect their respective economies The presidency of IFTRIP will revolve on a yearly basis Francois Vilnet, Vice President of France’s pool … Continue reading

5 January 2016, Building premiums under review post Dubai hotel/apartment fire; might impact terrorism insurance

Following the major fire at The Address Downtown Dubai on New Year’s Eve, real estate community premiums in UAE are under review, and they might rise, reports The National.   Two other 2015 skyscraper fires in Dubai are contributing to this possibility: one is the Regal office tower fire that happened in November, and the other is the Torch Tower fire that happened in February. None of these fires were reportedly suspicious or terrorist related, though three major building fires in a single year in Dubai do seem odd. Buildings with aluminum cladding panels, says Mohammed Hesham, Operations Manager of Capital Shield Insurance Brokers, is one reason for potential premium increases. “Cladding” refers to the outside surface of buildings. If the materials used for cladding are flammable, then the risk of damage and loss of life from accidental fire, arson, or terrorist bombing … 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 its casino. 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 some cohesive emergency … 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

21 March 2017, Assault victims sue UK hotel for “breach of its duty of care”

On 21 March, The Guardian announced that three sisters from the UAE had begun a lawsuit against The Cumberland, a hotel in London, over an assault they suffered at the hands of a career criminal, Philip Spence. On 6 April 2014, Spence made his way into the trio’s room and attacked them with a hammer, inflicting grievous injuries. The Cumberland, owned by London and Regional Properties, is listed as a four-star hotel in the heart of central London. It is a Guoman Hotel (management), which is part of GLH Hotels Management Ltd. Guoman has five properties: four in London, and one in Shanghai. GLH owns five brands, including Thistle. Hospitalitynet.org says GLH has 4,000 plus rooms between the UK and Asia – mostly in the UK – and it has ambitious expansion plans that target 100 cities in 10 years. On 21 October … Continue reading

13 March 2017, Lawsuit against TUI regarding Sousse hotel massacre moves forward

A group of families whose relatives were killed and/or injured in the June 2015 ISIS attack on the Riu Imperial Marhaba hotel in Sousse, Tunisia, is moving forward with their lawsuit of tour company TUI Group that arranged their vacation, reports The Mirror. They are seeking a £10 million ($12,205,350.00 USD) payout. This move resulted from a two-month inquest by the British coroner’s office that declared ISIS gunman, Seifeddine Rezgui, murdered or “unlawfully killed” 30 UK citizens in the attack. The term “unlawfully killed” is the precise legal language that the plaintiffs’ attorneys were waiting for in order to take their lawsuit to the next phase. Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith was the judge/coroner in this case. At least two UK law firms, Irwin Mitchell and Slater and Gordon, are involved in the suit. If a settlement cannot be reached, then the opposing parties will … 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 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 Job … 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