Monthly Archives: May 2015

September 1989, Hilton and Hotel Tequendama Bombings, Colombia

In the 1980s, when Colombia was in the throes of a high intensity and ultra violent narcotics war, the drug cartels not only targeted politicians, the police, and the military, but also civilians. They struck shopping malls, pedestrians on the street, at least one airliner (Avianca Flight 203, 1989, 107 killed), and hotels. Colombia is a much safer place now. Drug violence has subsided, and international business travel there is bustling. In fact, Hilton Worldwide announced in summer 2012 that it was expanding its business in Latin America, including Colombia, so reports World Property Journal. Hilton signed six franchise contracts, including for the Hampton Inn and Hilton hotel brands, with Colombia-based METRO Hotels. All six properties are slated to come online through to 2017. METRO Hotels’ Development Director, Felipe Galeano, said the Hilton deal was an ideal fit for Colombia’s “major and intermediate … Continue reading

9 May 2015, Kenya

Peter Muiruri wrote an interesting piece for Standard Digital, a Kenya news outlet, on what some business entities in Kenya are doing to salvage the 2015 tourist season that has been hit by terrorism and government travel warnings. His article, “Tourism industry players in Kenya welcome new terrorism cover,” says that AIG Kenya Insurance and Amref Flying Doctors have teamed up to provide tourists with inbound insurance coverage from terrorism exposure for their time in Kenya. The article quotes Mohammed Hersi, Chairman of the Kenya Coast Tourists Association, as saying, “The cover will open up the entire country’s tourism fraternity including areas prohibited by the travel advisories like the coast region and ensure tourist traffic flow is maintained. The Kenyan coast has been hard hit in recent times with the advisories resulting in low number of bookings.” How does this impact terrorism and … Continue reading

8 May 2015, Iran

On 8 May, reports The Independent, hundreds of Kurds mobbed the Tara Hotel in Mahabad, Iran, and set fire to it over the suspicious death of a Kurdish hotel worker, Farinaz Khosrawani. Ms. Khosrawani, 25 years old, fell or jumped from the fourth floor of the hotel, possibly due to an attack on her person. Al Jazeera says that protesters assert the attack on the woman was an attempted rape by a security guard or a government official, but those charges are unconfirmed. Twitter feed of the attack shows a significantly large crowd rioting outside the hotel and a major fire that appears to have engulfed the building. Damage looks heavy. A video of the attack posted on The Mirror also shows vandals rummaging through several floors. Besta News says that riot police deployed and dispersed the crowd with tear gas and live ammunition, which … Continue reading

10 April 2015, Iraq

The Daily Mail reports that on 10 April, terrorists detonated a car bomb near the Babylon Warwick Hotel in the Karrada neighborhood, central Baghdad. The blast, which occurred during midday Friday prayers, killed three and wounded 12. NPR reports the Babylon was directly attacked in January 2010 along with two other hotels, the “Sheraton,”* and the al-Hamra. *(Note: at the time, the “Sheraton” mentioned here was reportedly the Cristal Grand Ishtar, an upscale hotel that is sometimes called the “Sheraton Ishtar.” The property was, in fact, a Sheraton up to 1991, but Sheraton Hotels left Iraq at that time because of Operation Desert Storm and poor relations with the government. A genuine Sheraton hotel by Starwood will be opening in Dohuk, Iraq, on 1 June 2015.) Copyright © Muir Analytics 2015

13 May 2015, Ireland

Prosecutors in Ireland continued their case in a Special Criminal Court on 13 May 2015 against alleged IRA bomber Samuel Devlin. Mr. Devlin is accused of trying to detonate a bomb on 10 May 2014 at Finnstown House Hotel in Lucan, just west of Dublin. A wedding was in progress when the device – a car bomb – was discovered, reports The Irish Times says Devlin is charged with unlawful possession of explosives and for being a member of an outlawed terrorist organization, the IRA. (Exactly what IRA group Mr. Devlin is supposed to belong to, the Real IRA, or the New IRA, or some other faction, is not clear.) Devlin was arrested at the Finnstown House Hotel. Police found in his possession 26 meters of PETN detonation cord. Sources and further reading: “Man arrested after car bomb attack had detonating cord … Continue reading

23 April 2015, Tunisia

FVW magazine, one of Germany’s top travel trade news outlets, reported in April that German hotel and tourist investors continued to be optimistic about tourism and hotel investment in Tunisia despite the 18 March terrorist raid on the National Bardo Museum in the capital, Tunis, that killed 21 people and wounded at least 50. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Tunisian government blamed the Okba Ibn Nafaa Brigade, an apparent splinter group of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Read more here by MSN: Islamic State Claims Responsibility for Tunisia Attack, and by Reuters: Thousands of Tunisians, leaders march after Bardo attack. FVW quotes TUI Group (hotel investment) product manager Florian Fleischer as saying; “TUI has not only expanded but also upgraded its hotel portfolio in Tunisia, with 10 exclusive target group hotels.” TUI said these included properties “on Djerba, the … Continue reading

10 April 2015, Pakistan

The BBC reported on 10 April that Pakistani authorities released from prison Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged LeT planner of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, which included attacks on two hotels: the Taj Mahal and the Oberoi Trident. Pakistan’s High Court issued Lakhvi’s release, asserting his detention since December 2014 was unlawful since he had been granted bail in December. India’s government decried his release, asserting it was bad for India-Pakistan relations and public safety. Lakhvi and several LeT cohorts are still supposed to face trial in the coming months. Copyright © Muir Analytics 2015