Engaging with the bioterror threat

Earlier this month the UK outlined plans to create a new homeland security headquarters as part of plans to improve its response to the emerging major threat from terrorism, saying a successful chemical, biological or nuclear attack was likely by the end of the decade.

Worrying, no?

In its Integrated Review, which lays out the country’s post-Brexit policy priorities, the government said Britain faced a significant threat to its citizens and interests, mainly from Islamist terrorism, but also from the far-right and to a lesser extent the far-left and anarchists.

“Terrorism will remain a major threat over the coming decade, with a more diverse range of material and political causes, new sources of radicalisation and evolving tactics,” the government review said, promising a “robust, full-spectrum approach in response”.

The central plank of the security approach will be the creation of a new Counter Terrorism Operations Centre to bring together police, spy agencies, government officials and elements from the judicial system.

It said this would improve Britain’s speed of response to incidents and help stay ahead of emerging threats.

Such moves are to be welcomed, but in order to properly manage the very real threat faced from new and increasingly worrying terrorist sources, proper engagement with risk professionals is needed.

This is very much a two-way street. Nation states need the expertise of the risk markets, and the risk markets need the capital buffer provided by nation states to ensure that an adequate response can be guaranteed.

The UK has already proved to be ahead of the game here with its response to ‘traditional’ terrorist threats and the well-received formation of Pool Re, now a long-established market presence.

But still there are gaps in coverage and, one suspects, something of a relaxed attitude from buyers with regard to the wider bioterrorist threat. Time for all parties to pull their socks up?

Enjoy the read,


Editor, Emerging Risks