New brand of homegrown terrorism probably the greatest security threat we now face, says Levene

The current threat of homegrown terrorism represents an unprecedented risk to UK businesses, finds a new report.

Lord Levene, chairman of Lloyd’s of London who conducted the research along with the International Institute of Strategic Studies, said: ‘Our work this year in both the US and Europe has highlighted the emergence of a new brand of homegrown terrorism, probably the greatest security threat we now face.’

He added: ‘No-one should be in any doubt that home-grown terrorism has the potential to disrupt business significantly. However, although most business leaders are increasingly worried about it, they have also told us that they currently understand very little about what home-grown terrorism risk means for their business.’

‘Ultimately, we must recognise that home-grown terrorism represents a struggle to engage with a lost generation. Society will therefore only conquer the threat if we start thinking and investing ‘long-term’, both at home and abroad.’

The main findings of the report include:

The current rise in home-grown Islamist extremism presents an unprecedented threat to business and society at large

“No-one should be in any doubt that home-grown terrorism has the potential to disrupt business significantly.

Lord Levene, chairman of Lloyd's of London

Some businesses and organisations are more vulnerable than others to terrorism, and a focus on certain targets using specific techniques means that the risk is likely to have a relatively predictable impact on the private sector.

Business needs to get better at gathering information from the right sources and using it to guide strategy and operations

A corporate culture which sees security as a business enabler, a well thought-out HR policy, and effective business continuity planning all play an important role in protecting against terrorism.

In the long-term, eradication of the home-grown terrorism threat is a generational challenge which requires an active partnership across society

The private sector can provide an important contribution to both the national and international effort against terrorism. Investment and HR decisions designed to help marginalised and economically disadvantaged communities, active engagement in counter-radicalisation activity and involvement in public debate on issues relating to terrorism will not by themselves solve the problem, nor provide immunity from attack.