September 25, 2019

Bob Howell, Senior Advisor for Critical Operations, spoke with Business Travel News about why organizations should complete hotel security assessments before travel. He says that hotel terrorist attacks are likely to increase, especially as each attack gains media attention. 

The article states, "Over the past couple years, Al-Shabab—which is one of the more prolific terrorist organizations in Africa, based out of Mogadishu, Somalia—has perfected their hotel attack modus operandi. They breach the hotel's perimeter security with an explosive device—it could be an [improvised explosive devise] or a suicide bomber—then follow with an assault team to cause as much death and destruction as possible. [The group has used this tactic multiple times in Mogadishu and in Nairobi in January 2019.] We fully expect to see the M.O. expand across the region and be adopted by other insurgent groups around the world."

As the attacks receive media attention, the groups that claim the attacks gain more support and funding across the globe because of the publicity. Since terrorist attacks are unpredictable, Howell says, if organizations have "prolonged projects or prolonged stays, we recommend that for low- to medium-risk countries, they have a hotel desktop assessment done." This can provide the organization comfort in knowing what the security posture is of that hotel. A hotel assessment can also give insight as to what hotels organizations should not use because the security posture is not even close to meeting the standard.

Howell tells Business Travel News, "At WorldAware, we have Country Security Assessment Ratings for countries and cities. The ratings go from one to five. One is safest and five is the highest-risk environment. We recommend that clients do a desktop hotel assessment for ratings of one to three. If four or five, we send in a local security professional to conduct a site survey and validate the security posture of that hotel."

Read the full article.


About Bob Howell

Bob Howell serves as Senior Advisor, Critical Operations, Global Operations. He is a key component to our Global Operations Division and responsible for the management and control of our Global Response Partners in support of client requirements around the world. Bob joined WorldAware in 2013 and has been instrumental in providing Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I) oversight. He has subject matter expertise in security management, internal investigations, physical security, technical security, surveillance detection/counter-surveillance and protective service operations.