Risk profiles will increase in the region if terrorism remains unchecked
The recent hostage crisis at a desert gas plant in southern Algeria by Al-Qaeda terrorists poses a threat to the entire Sahel region, according to Willis’ special contingency risk head of intelligence Tim Holt.
The crisis began on Thursday after members of al-Qaeda entered a BP gas plant and took 41 westerners hostage.
Despite an attack on the complex by the Algerian military, the situation remains unstable with at least one Briton dead, and British prime pinister David Cameron warned yesterday of “the possibility of further bad news”.
In his blog, Holt said that recent developments in the Sahel – the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition between the Sahara desert and the Sudanese Savannas – leave the region exposed to a “potential belt of aggregated terror”.
Importantly for risk managers, Holt argues that if Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is left uncontained in the region, then “organisations in the countries of the Sahel and its neighbouring regions … would see their risk profile significantly altered”.