Monthly Archives: January 2016

15 January 2016, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

On 15 January, six terrorists from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) raided and occupied the 147-room, four star Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou, killing 29 and wounding 56, reports the BBC and CNN. The hotel and nearby restaurants are popular with foreigners. The attack began at 7:30 pm and lasted 15 hours, says the Daily Mail. The victims were made up of more than 15 nationalities, at least 14 of which were foreigners. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on 19 January that three attackers were killed, and three remained at large, the latter of which were being pursued. It is not clear if the attackers approached the target in two vehicles or on foot, but what is clear is that they first attacked a café-restaurant called Cappuccino across the street from the Splendid Hotel on Avenue Kwame Nkrumah. All six terrorists … Continue reading

12 January 2016, Hurghada, Egypt

On 9 January, two terrorists armed with knives and reportedly a pellet gun attacked the Bella Vista Hotel and Resort in Hurghada, Egypt, reports the BBC. The Bella Vista is a three-star, beachfront hotel on the Red Sea. Hotel staff told the Associated Press that the terrorists approached the Bella Vista from the beach and a hotel next door. They had with them, says The Independent, a prominently displayed ISIS flag and an apparent explosive device, though it’s not readily clear if it was real or fake. The BBC says the duo was intent on kidnapping people. The terrorists managed to injure two Austrians and a Swedish citizen, Sammie Olovvson. Olovvson told the press he was sitting having dinner with his father when he felt someone grab him from behind and then plunge a knife into his upper left chest. He raised his … Continue reading

1993 Mumbai (Bombay) bombings – three hotels hit, one fatally

On 12 March 1993, terrorists set off 13 bombs across Mumbai, then called Bombay. These included car bombs, motor scooter bombs, suitcase bombs, plus a few grenades. The blasts killed 357 and injured 717; other statistics say there were 250 killed and 1,100 wounded. Regardless, it was the highest terrorist attack casualty rate in India’s history, and it was also one of the first big multiple bomb attacks in the history of terrorism. Most of the bombs consisted of RDX, a broad term for a military grade plastic explosive that forms the basis of more than 10 specific types of explosives such as Composition 4 (C-4), and Semtex. RDX’s velocity of detonation is approximately 28,000 feet per second, so just a small amount has high shattering power (aka, “brisance”). The responsible party was reportedly “D-Company,” a Mumbai-based criminal organization run by the infamous Dawood Ibrahim. … 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

31 December 2015, Eilat, Israel

The Israeli government on 31 December released a statement asserting that two Arab Israeli citizens from Jerusalem were indicted for trying to bomb the Rio Hotel in Eilat, reports The Times of Israel. The hotel appears to be a small, stylized boutique hotel on the beach amongst beachfront shops and restaurants. The technical charges against the two perpetrators, Khalil Nimri and Ashraf Slaimeh, are: 1) forming a conspiracy, and 2) aiding an enemy in wartime. The duo had originally planned stabbing attacks on Jews but changed their minds after figuring they’d likely get caught or shot in the process. There has been a wave of stabbings of Jews in Israel in recent months where the attackers are usually shot and killed by armed civilians and/or security forces. Nimro said he wanted to lash out against Israel as revenge for one of his childhood … Continue reading