Monthly Archives: April 2015

29 March 2015, Malaysia

On 29 March, the Malaysian press reported a bomb threat against Hotel Jen in Penang. On 24 March, operatives from the Islamic State sent letters bearing IS symbols to the hotel threatening to bomb it if Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a Hindu meditation guru from India, stayed there. The threat letters said the guru “had labeled Muslims in Iran and Iraq as infidels and was involved in wrongful activities,” so reported The Malaysian Insider. Shankar’s staff asserted: “Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is touring some countries in the Far East and he landed in Malaysia yesterday (March 27) and few days ago, while he was in Cambodia, we received threat letters from IS.” The staff said the letters threatened to kill Shankar at any venue he visited, and that they would kill thousands around him as well. The guru held his mass meditation session … Continue reading

5 March 2015…Hotel point of sale hacked…not terrorism, but…

The Mandarin Oriental Group said in early March hackers had attacked point-of-sale systems at a number of its hotels in the US and Europe and stole credit card information from its patrons. The hotel’s official statement on the attack is here. The Mandarin Oriental asserts the safety and security of its patrons is its top priority and it is updating its report on the matter and the security steps it is taking to mitigate the issue here: Statement Relating To Credit Card Breach Update – 17th March 2015 Read more on the attack by the BBC here. Copyright © Muir Analytics 2015

26 March 2015, Kim Zetter covers hotel wi-fi security

26 March 2015, Kim Zetter for Wired discusses how vulnerable many hotel wi-fi systems are. Zetter says, “Researchers have discovered a vulnerability in the systems, which would allow an attacker to distribute malware to guests, monitor and record data sent over the network, and even possibly gain access to the hotel’s reservation and keycard systems.” While criminals pose the most common threats at hotels, terrorists could easily exploit the same vulnerabilities. Read Zetter’s excellent piece here: Big Vulnerability in Hotel Wi-Fi Router Puts Guests at Risk Copyright © Muir Analytics 2015

1 March 2015, Fallout from the 2008 Mumbai attack continues…

1 March 2015, the accused central planner of the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India, that included, among multiple other targets, attacks on two hotels, the Taj Mahal and the Oberoi Trident, is reportedly living in a pampered jail cell in Pakistan. Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, a top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander, can reportedly have unlimited visitors, computer, cell phone, and television access on a regular basis. The apparently light treatment of Lakhvi has caused damage to the India-Pakistan relationship. Copyright © Muir Analytics 2015

19 March 2015, the Honorable Thomas A. Dickerson on protecting hotel guests

On 19 March 2015, the Hon. Thomas A. Dickerson, writing for eturbonews.com, penned an article titled, “Primer on hotel law: The common law – duty to protect guests from others.” In it, Dickerson comments on past precedents in the U.S. – specifically cases such as Shadday v. Omni Hotels Management Corp. (2007), which deals with the liability of hotels regarding rape or assault of its guests. While this is focused on crime, the application to terror cases is obvious. Read Dickerson’s highly useful article here.

28 October 2014, Mumbai attacks, Chicago-based lawsuit

On 28 October 2014, the estate of a Chicago man killed in the Oberoi Trident hotel during the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks filed a wrongful death lawsuit in the Cook County Circuit Court against Lashkar-e-Taiba. The victim was Sandeep “Sam” Jeswani, and the special administrator to his estate legal champion was identified as Maribeth Jeswani. Read more here: 28 October 2014, Lawsuit: Terrorists killed Chicago man in Mumbai

1975 Siege of Savoy Hotel, Israel

On 4 April 2015, ynetnews.com ran a story about the terror siege of the Savoy Hotel in 1975 and featured audio reels of the attack, which demonstrate the stress and tension associated with negotiations to secure the release of hotel patrons and staff. Palestinian terrorists of the group Fatah, led by Khalil Ibrahim al-Wazir (Abu Jihad), on 6 March 1975 executed an amphibious raid on Tel Aviv in two rubber rafts. Israeli police discovered the raiding party, engaged it in a firefight, and the terrorists then seized the Savoy Hotel on Geula Street, demanding the release of 20 Palestinian prisoners. The Israeli Special Forces unit Sayeret Matkal eventually launched a hostage rescue assault on the hotel, which is when the terrorists detonated explosives that destroyed the building’s top floor. The commandos cleared the building, regardless. The final casualty rate was eight hostages killed, … Continue reading

20 February 2015, Jeffrey D. DeBoer Comments on TRIA

Here is an interesting piece from 20 February 2015 including comments by Real Estate Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey D. DeBoer on Congress passing TRIA and how a wide array of security risks to commercial real estate, including hotels, pose serious concerns as 2015 progresses: “Commercial Real Estate Conditions Remain Strong, Yet Outlook Softens Amid Global, Interest Rate, Policy Risks.” Copyright © Muir Analytics 2015

On 7 January 2015, TRIA passes the House

On 7 January 2015, hotelnewsresource.com reported the passage of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA): Hotel Industry Applauds House Passage of Terrorism Risk Insurance Act. The article said, “The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) today praised the U.S. House of Representatives for passing legislation H.R. 26, Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015.” TRIA was first passed by Congress in 2002 as a U.S. Government-sponsored, post 9-11 attack measure to strengthen terrorism insurance coverage purchased by corporations. Copyright © Muir Analytics 2015

27 March 2015, Somalia

On Friday, 27 March 2015, al Shabaab conducted a raid on the Makka al-Mukarama hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia. The attack began late Friday afternoon with a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) at the hotel’s front gate – reportedly in a Toyota Noa, which is a minivan. With the gate blown in, a squad-sized formation of five al Shabaab fighters then ran into the compound and assaulted the hotel, methodically sweeping floor by floor, gunning down civilians as they went. An al Shabaab fighter reportedly detonated his explosives in the hotel lobby as well. Post attack reporting says the attacks killed 20 and wounded 28. Somali forces from the unit, “Gaashaan” (Shield), reportedly retook the hotel, which was officially cleared by Saturday morning. Unconfirmed reporting said the militants beheaded some of their victims. The hotel was popular with Somalia government personnel and expatriates … Continue reading