Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hotels 'top target for terrorists'

Stratfor's warning comes in wake of new security rules

TERRORISTS are more likely to hit hotels than any place else, and the number of times that they have targeted hotels has more than doubled since the Sept 11 attack eight years ago. Between 1993 and 2001, there were 30 attacks on hotels in 15 countries. Over the past eight years, terrorists have struck at 62 hotels in 20 countries.

The warning from global intelligence company Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor) came after a stricter national standard of hotel security was introduced in Singapore just two months ago. The new standard highlights the importance of hotels conducting systematic and regular reviews of emergency operating procedures and security plans, as well as training staff on how best to respond to crises.

In July, terrorists in Jakarta bombed the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels, leaving seven people dead. Stratfor analysts found that terrorists are turning to soft targets - public or semi-public facilities such as shopping malls and schools where many gather. Hotels make 'perfect' soft targets: They have a fixed location and they attract many people, many of whom are Westerners and hence targets for militants.

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