U.S. businesspeople abroad will become more likely targets of terrorists as the government does a better job of securing the safety of U.S. embassies and their personnel, according to Ian Lester, a senior policy adviser at the Rand Corp. and a former policy analyst at the U.S. State Department.
Dr. Lester told GlobalFax during a telephone interview last week that the nature of global terrorism is changing in several critical ways.
He said that the perpetrators are acting more on their own or in loose groupings as terrorism is privatized. He added that the methods that terrorists use are increasingly lethal, and their activities are more transnational.
Dr. Lester is writing a book focusing on what he calls the new terrorism and is to speak on the topic, American Operations as Terrorist Targets at a conference Thursday, Sept. 17, to be held in Washington, D.C.
To the extent that government does a better job of security, the terrorists will be looking for softer targets, he said referring to U.S. businesspeople. There is a certain displacement effect.
But, he quickly added, that U.S. businesspeople have been targets for a long time, and that in most cases U.S. companies have coped well to protect their employees.
He cited U.S. companies that have been able to operate successfully in Algeria where, he said, terrorism is rampant in its traditional form, namely taking place within national borders and mostly against indigenous people.
Under the new terrorism, however, U.S. companies will face increased danger from more formidable weapons and explosives as well as the potential of an attack anywhere in the world including at home.
The U.S. will mostly likely duplicate Israeli counter terrorist measures, and have to be most vigilant in tracking the lethal weapons and explosives.
Cost of the Washington, D.C., conference is $495, including a briefing book, luncheon and reception. To register, call Equity International at (202) 775-5921, fax, (202) 775-5921. The conference’s Website may be found at http://www.globalequityconference.com/terroris.htm