August 13th, 2014

Domestic (Non-Islamic) Terrorism

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

Despite being overshadowed by the transnational Islamist terrorist threat since September 11, 2001, a number of destructive and costly attacks have been carried out by non-Islamic domestic groups and individuals. These include the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in the United Kingdom, Timothy McVeigh of the Oklahoma bombing in the United States and the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. Such acts have resulted in significant property losses for (re)insurers. Indeed, as shown below, seven of the top ten most costly terrorist attacks (in terms of insured property losses) between 1990 and the first quarter of 2014 were carried out by these domestic groups.

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More recently, several high-profile domestic attacks have included fatal bombings and shootings in Russia, Northern Ireland and Norway. The Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) insurgent group also stepped up military operations and terrorism activity across Colombia in October 2013. In addition, a recent study by the US Congressional Research Service shows that domestic terrorists have been responsible for more than two dozen incidents in the United States since 2004. Although amendments were made in TRIPRA’s 2007 reauthorization to include domestic terrorism as well as foreign acts, uncertainty remains over whether domestic attacks will receive federal cover beyond 2014.

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