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Istanbul Airport Attack— A New Era of Threats and Regulatory Issues

A terminal at New York’s JFK airport was briefly evacuated Wednesday morning after a K-9 unit identified a suspicious package. According to news reports, as a safety measure, passengers were evacuated from the Jet Blue terminal. This move came amid Tuesday’s terror attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, which claimed the lives of 44 people and injured more than 240.

Earlier this month, UK- based G4S PLC was thrust into the limelight when it emerged that Florida nightclub killer Omar Mateen had been employed by the global security firm. In hours leading up to the largest mass shooting in US history, Mateen declared his allegiance to terror group Islamic State. Now, G4S is under scrutiny over the vetting of its security employees.

Based on the last 24 months, particularly after the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, Bill Udell, Senior Managing Director, Crisis and Security Consulting, Control Risks, said during a recent webcast that the “Islamic state ideology is a complement to workplace grievance, personal rage and mental health issues, which are creating a challenge for organizations and companies”. Another part of the threat dynamics includes “small and unpredictable conspiracies.”

Udell further explained that these threats are particularly relevant in the US for inspired (rather than directed) attackers who represent the primary threat.“While the Istanbul attack is more of a directed attack, the point being that the homegrown threat actors don’t need the kind of coordination and direction that we saw in Istanbul and are a different evolution of the threat. But they both represent ways for ISIS to project power abroad which is clearly now one of their main priorities given battlefield losses,” he said. 

Navigating global threats and establishing direction is not easy. Companies have rapidly growing concerns for the safety and security of its own people and assets—not to mention the welfare of the communities in which companies operate. The webcast, which was hosted by Control Risks and Ethisphere, took a closer look at the new era of pervasive external and insider threats, emerging protection concerns for companies during terrorist attacks, and regulatory considerations still struggling to keep pace with the crippling effect of these global offenses.

Click here to listen to the full webcast.

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