Terrorist threat in Europe is at its highest level in the last ten years. As alarming as this is the fact that transportation systems represent prime targets for terrorists in search of dense crowds. In a research carried by AON, transport ranks second after retail on the list of industries that were attacked by terrorists in 2014 (2). The Global Terrorism Database registered over 3600 terrorist incidents against public transport modes between 1992 and 2014, representing 3.7% of all incident types (2). Within the transport target category, heavy and light rail transport related attacks account for 34%. Starting with 2013, there is a sharp increase in the number of terrorist attacks against the railway system.
South Asia is the region that registers the highest number of terrorist attacks against railways (42%), with railways of India (21%) and Pakistan (17%) being the most affected by terrorism. Russia stands third on this rank with 101 attacks counted (8%). Attacks against European railways represented 20% of the total number of railway incidents world wide. All the components of the railway system are potential targets. Attacks against railway lines account for 43% of the total rail incidents, followed by passenger trains with 25%, rail stations with 14%, subway system (7%) and freight trains (5%). In 82% of the attacks, explosives were used. Firearm assaults (8%), arson (4%) and sabotage (2%) make up the next largest shares of attacks.Read the full post