28 November 2018, Personal security suggestions to lessen sexual assault risks at hotels/resorts in light of multiple rapes reported at Caribbean resorts

The recent accusations of sexual assaults at Caribbean resorts, particularly in Jamaica, are based on professional research and analyses by the US State Department’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), and multiple, recent press reports such as this disturbing story run by the Chicago Tribune. While no threat mitigation methods or procedures are 100% effective, there are precautions travelers can take to reduce the risks of being caught in specific attack scenarios. Being familiar with these scenarios and how they happen is key to avoidance. This requires a “know before you go” attitude and doing “security homework” prior to visiting a particular destination, especially at those hotels/resorts that just pay mouth service to guest safety and security. Muir Analytics listed multiple such assault scenarios in a threat analysis, here. A few threat mitigation suggestions, based on these attack scenarios, are as follows:* First, if sexual assaults … Continue reading

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 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

8 October 2016, Singapore increases hotel security

On 8 October, Jeremy Koh of The Straits Times wrote a telling piece describing how Singapore has increased hotel security in light of the global increase of terrorism. Mr. Koh wrote: “Mr Steve Tan, executive secretary for the security employees union, told The Straits Times that hotels and other building owners have stepped up security over the past few years. But in the last 12 months, these preparations have increased further as the terror threat has moved closer to home. For example, in the past, people may not have prepared for an improvised explosive device scenario, but now this is not out of the question.” Hotels that The Straits Times said had increased security included, but were not limited to, the Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa, the Sheraton Towers Singapore, and the Parkroyal. As coordinated as Singapore is regarding security, the number of hotels participating in the increased … Continue reading

20-21 September 2016, Select list of hotel security measures taken during Charlotte riots

Muir Analytics covered the Black Lives Matter-related political violence against hotels in Charlotte, North Carolina, here. Riots impacted at least seven hotels with several people assaulted, two shot (and one killed), many wounded, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage done. Hotels in the downtown Charlotte business district rallied to defend themselves. Here is a select list of some of the security precautions they took: Security/crisis management plans for many hotels were in place as early as 8:00 am before the second night of riots began. This meant that some hotels were collecting intelligence on the potential threat and could therefore prepare for it. This included alerting guests to the threat and providing them with security advice. Extra security and hotel staff was brought in to provide a safe (as could be) environment and to tend to customers’ needs. Some hotels adopted, … Continue reading

10 September 2016, like France and Turkey, terror in Thailand causes drop in tourism

Tourism in Thailand has slowed in the wake of multiple attacks there, just like what has happened in Turkey and France – and to a lesser degree, Tunisia – (see Muir Analytics reports here, here, and here.) Right after the Thai mid-south bombings in August, the town of Trang had a 100% hotel cancelation rate, reports The Nation. Prateep Jongthong, president of Trang’s tourism association, said that the negative impact of the bombings could carry on into October. Other tourist related businesses in the mid-south have since reported a slight bounce back in bookings as travelers are unaware of the issues at stake or disregard them entirely because of the hotel deals offered. The Voice of America says economists at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce report that the recent terror attacks might cause a loss of 365,000 fewer tourists visiting the mid-south provinces, resulting in a … Continue reading

15 August 2016, Paris occupancy rates plummets because of recent terror attacks

The Telegraph reported on 7 August that Paris’ hotel occupancy rates have plummeted as a result of more than 11 terror attacks in country, such as: 2015 3 February, Nice 19 April, Villejuif, Paris 26 June, Saint-Quentin-Fallavier 21 August, Oignies 13-14 November, Paris 2016 1 January, Valence 7 January, Paris 13 June, Magnanville 14 July, Nice 26 July, Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray The Nice and Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray attacks had a particularly grim impact on tourism because of the heinousness of their violence. The Nice attack involved an ISIS agent driving a truck through a crowd on Bastille Day, killing 85 and wounding 307. The Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray attack entailed ISIS agents beheading a priest in a catholic church during Tuesday morning prayers. As a result, Paris hotel occupancy rates in July 2016 fell to a mere 32 percent. In July 2015, they were at 77 percent. Nice hotel revenues have fallen 45 percent since the truck attack. Reuters … Continue reading

14 March 2016, DHS warns ISIS aims to attack DC area hotels

On 10 March 2016, the US Department of Homeland Security issued a threat warning saying that ISIS was aiming to attack hotels and conference venues in the Washington DC area, so reports The Investigative Project on Terrorism. Several government agencies contributed to the report, including the FBI, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC,) and the Washington Regional Threat Analysis Center. The District of Columbia Hotel Association also reportedly had a hand in it. The actual threat warning part of the report was apparently general in nature, but it was released two days after an ISIS video threatened violence in the United States. The video, posted by the Daily Mail here, is titled, “A Message to America from the Islamic Caliphate Supporters.” The video said: “Paris isn’t far from you. We will by Allah’s permission do to your country what we did to Paris. We … Continue reading

30 January 2016, Istanbul bombing attempt foiled by ready police; tourism sector suffers, regardless

On 30 January 2016 at 10:30 pm, Istanbul police shot a terrorist suspect who refused to stop for questioning near the Ritz Carlton hotel, reports Today’s Zaman. Police reportedly found in his bag an explosive device and detonated it in place 20-30 minutes later, reports the prolific travel magazine, eTurbonews (eTN). eTN’s President and Publisher, Mr. Juergen Steinmetz, was in the Ritz Carlton at the time of the incident. He heard what sounded like two loud explosions. Upon inquiring about the event, he was told that police identified the suspicious man, then a noncompliance altercation of some kind ensued, and police shot him. They then sealed off the roads adjacent to the Ritz Carlton and the nearby BJK İnönü Stadium in order for ordnance disposal to destroy the bomb. While the suspected terrorist did not attack the hotel, it happened quite close to … 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 would 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 … Continue reading