Terrorism risk outlook for Europe

23 May 2019

Europe terrorism risk update The threat of Islamist extremism remains high in Europe, driven in part by radicalized individuals returning from fighting in Iraq and Syria. Religious extremist attacks in the EU will likely target the entertainment and hospitality sectors and public spaces frequented by tourists.

Although the frequency of attacks has fallen since 2017, extremists have been most active in France, Spain, and the UK, with vehicles, firearms, and knives the most prevalent weapons.

Right-wing extremism is on the rise and likely to gain ground in 2019 (see figure below), which will elevate operational risks for businesses and individuals.

In the UK, the assassination of Member of Parliament Jo Cox in 2016 and an attack on a north London mosque in 2017 by right-wing extremists are evidence of an elevated threat.

The absence of a single organizational structure makes it harder for security forces to detect ERW activity.

Key Terrorist actors in 2019

Islamist terrorism: lone wolf or small terrorist cells

Extreme right-wing groups

Dissident republican terrorist groups (Northern Ireland)

Which sectors are most exposed?


Public transport systems and hubs have often been deemed soft targets for terrorist activity in Europe.

In the last four years, indiscriminate, low-capability terrorist attacks have been carried out on commuter trains in France, Germany, and the Netherlands.

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Retail and hospitality

These sectors may not be direct targets of terrorism, but the impact related to a potential blast radius poses risks.

Significant business interruption is possible during and after attacks that cause limited property damage, as police may enforce cordons over multiple days.

Public markets have been the subject of terrorist attacks in Germany and France over the last three years.

Europe terrorism risk update



  • Raj RanaRaj Rana

    Raj started her career as an account technician in the back office of the newly merged Heath Lambert in July 2000.

    In September 2001 she relocated to the Head Office in London as an Account Handler in the international Property Division specialising in Terrorism and War.

    In the last 15 years Raj took over the running of the War and Terrorism Portfolio and has since built up a significant international portfolio of business delivering bespoke insurance and reinsurance placement solutions. She has an in-depth technical knowledge of market wordings and is also experienced in tailoring wordings to complement existing insurance arrangements whether this be local pool coverage or integrating with all risks covers.

    She has extensive experience in working with a varied client base including power, infrastructure, energy, retail, manufacturing, hotel and leisure, aviation, finance and public sector businesses. She joined JLT on 1st February 2016 as Head of War and Terrorism.

    For further information or to learn more about terrorism insurance, contact Raj Rana, Head of War and Terrorism on +44 020 3797 7732.

  • This article featured in our latest terrorism report.
    For an update on global terrorism trends and how the insurance market is responding, download our
    2019 Terrorism Report

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