The US continues to be a high-risk target for terrorism. Soft targets such as transport systems and public events will be at the highest risk of attack. The threat level in Mexico and Canada is greatly reduced, though the risk of lone wolf attacks in Canada remains.
Terrorism in the US is more likely to be carried out by lone wolves and small groups inspired by, but not directly affiliated with, international terrorist organizations.
However, the threat from the ERW continues to increase. Across both far-right and Islamist extremist attacks, the availability of firearms in the US will likely make active shooter incidents a continuing threat.
Mass shootings such as those at an Orlando nightclub in 2016 and a music festival in Las Vegas in 2017 have increased interest in insurance coverage relating to active shooter threats.
Terrorism risks in Canada have been greatly reduced over the last five years, though the threat from Islamist extremists and the ERW still present a danger.
In Mexico, Islamist terror organizations have little presence, and the threat level to both businesses and individuals is minimal.
Key Terrorist actors in 2019
Islamist terrorism: Ione wolf or small terrorist cells
Extreme right-wing: Individuals or groups
Which sectors are most exposed?
Businesses in densely populated urban areas, such as New York and Toronto, may look to non-damage denial of access and non-damage loss of attraction cover to mitigate low capability attacks on public areas.
For example, in April 2018, an attack using a vehicle in Toronto’s North York City Centre killed 10 pedestrians and injured 16 others.
The incident forced a rerouting of public transport services away from the central business district and the police cordon closed access routes for a number of businesses for up to 48 hours.
Transport infrastructure poses a target for terrorists across North America, exemplified by the detonation of a pipe bomb in a New York subway station by an Islamist extremist in 2017 that injured four people.
Mail bomb packages have unsuccessfully targeted densely populated subway stations in Toronto over the last two years, including an incident in March 2019.