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Global terror threat changing: Aon


LONDON— The nature of terrorism around the globe is changing, according to the latest study from Aon Crisis Management, part of Aon Corp.

Aon has published its Terrorism Threat Map for 2007, which has found an apparent weakening in the Al Qaeda network. In a statement, Paul Bassett, executive director, Aon Crisis Management, said that, "the war on terror, especially in Afghanistan, appears to be disrupting the command and control element of Al Qaeda. Terror group/cells at a country level are also more fragmented, resulting in lower levels of coordination."

But Mr. Bassett warned that this did not mean that the threat was in any way diminished.

"The many and varied plots are often unrelated. Just because one plot has been stopped in a certain country does not mean that other unrelated plots have been stopped or disrupted and vigilance is as critical as ever," he said.

However, Aon said that while terrorist networks were becoming more fragmented, intelligence and counter-terrorism operations were becoming more organized on a global basis.

Mr. Bassett said that the findings of the report meant that businesses had to recognize the evolving nature of the terrorist threat. Justin Priestley, executive director, Aon Crisis Management, said that companies should have the right systems, such as closed circuit television TV and X-ray machines, in place to increase their resilience.

"As the risk profile changes, as parts of the world become more or less vulnerable to attack, the vulnerabilities in a business' operations and revenue streams also change," Mr. Bassett said.

"As conflicts in the Middle East change and mature, for example, we are likely to see more movement of Jihadists between countries, perhaps returning from conflicts to their home nation, which again influences the shape and scope of terrorism risk," he said.