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*Original source data available for visualisations – please see notes.*

The Dragonfly publishes in partnership with Aon the 2018 Terrorism & Political Violence Risk Map – published today (London).

The Dragonfly Ltd (‘Dragonfly’) provides the data and expert analysis and assessments for the 2018 Terrorism and Political Violence Risk Map. This is the eleventh year Dragonfly has partnered with Aon on the map.

Political Violence: The likelihood of interstate conflict, even involving major powers, is at the highest point since the end of the Cold War. Growing geopolitical competition and weak leadership in international diplomacy have contributed to increased risks of armed conflict over the last year.

Terrorism: The number of terrorist attacks in Western countries in 2017 (204) more than doubled – up from 96 in 2016, although the number of casualties caused by terrorist violence remained at similar levels. Conflict zones remain important sources and causes of international terrorist activity, although the global threat from Islamic State seems to have peaked.

Terrorism & Political Violence
Risk Map & Report 2018

Terrorism and Political Violence
Political violence risks are rising globally, due to geopolitical tensions, a weakening of liberal democratic governance, and the repercussive effects of chronic conflicts around the globe.

For the third successive year, more country risk ratings have increased (17) than decreased (6). This year:

  • 40% of countries are listed as being exposed to terrorism and sabotage risk
  • 60% to civil unrest risk
  • 33% to insurrection, war or coup risk

Forty-six countries or territories are now rated as high or severe risk, representing 22% of the global total.

The likelihood of interstate conflict, including involving major powers, is at the highest point since the end of the Cold War. Growing geopolitical competition and weak leadership in international diplomacy have contributed to sustained or increased risks of armed conflict over the last year. Growing rates of polarisation over political, economic and social issues in mature democracies, and divisions between Western powers in the face of complex threats and risks, has also contributed to worsening global security and greater strategic uncertainty.

The number of terrorist attacks in Western countries in 2017 (204) was roughly double that of 2016 (96) but the total number of casualties in both years was broadly the same (1,092 in 2017), meaning that the lethality of attacks has fallen.

Notably, the threat posed by Islamic State has stopped spreading geographically – but it has not yet receded. IS mounted terrorist attacks in 29 countries on five continents in 2017, the same number of countries as in 2016 and up from 19 countries in 2015. But the global reach of IS seems to have peaked, and it seems likely that the number of countries where it is able to mount attacks, or inspire others to do so, will fall in 2018.

In particular, the tourism sector is having to manage the risks posed by terrorism, with the sector a highly attractive target for some terrorist groups. In 2017, there were at least 35 attacks worldwide that directly targeted commercial sectors that are critical components of the tourism industry, such as hotels and resorts, nightclubs, civil aviation and visitor attractions.

Henry Wilkinson, Head of Intelligence & Analysis at The Dragonfly, said:
“The Terrorism & Political Violence Map 2018 points to inter-state tensions driving up longer-term political violence risks, as well as diversifying terrorist and extremist threats particularly in the West. The long-term trend of non-state actors being the predominant political violence concern in most regions is shifting towards geopolitical risks. These are more business threatening and demand board-level ownership. In such an unsettled environment, it is imperative that businesses invest in world class crisis and risk management programs that are intelligence-led, anticipatory and adaptive to rapid change.”

Scott Bolton, Director, Crisis Management, Aon Risk Solutions commented:
The Terrorism & Political Violence risk map illustrates the increasing complexity of the peril. This is as true for a business in the Germany, Turkey or the United States, as it is for one with an international footprint; the potential breadth of impacts from these acts require more articulate risk management solutions. Understanding the risk environment in which you operate is key to influencing how an organisation will protect its people, operations and assets.

Understanding the risk and impacts will guide investment in security mitigation, as well as decisions around the financial resilience of an organisation – operational investment decisions and the appropriate overarching insurance to respond to these perils. The data and analysis behind the maps is a support tool for organisations, providing decision support in an area that can often be opaque, complementing the operational and life safety expertise within organisations and helping refine mitigation efforts wherever they operate.



Notes to editors

Original source data
We are able to provide original data for the information behind the global maps including:

  • Terrorism incident data from all attacks recorded in open sources
  • Threat and risk levels from 2014-2018

About the 2018 Terrorism & Political Violence Risk Map
The risk ratings for the Terrorism & Political Violence Map 2018 represent the joint findings and assessments of The Dragonfly and Aon. Dragonfly and Aon have produced the Terrorism and Political Violence map in collaboration since 2007.

The ratings are based upon assessments that draw upon empirical data on events from the preceding 12 months, (such as Dragonfly’s Terrorism Tracker database) as well as Dragonfly’s intelligence and political risk analysis. Final judgement on risk are made in joint consultations between Dragonfly and Aon experts. The scores are current at the time of the map publication.

Risk ratings are on a five-point scale and represent assessments of the net level of threat and risk across all the insurable political violence typologies: Terrorism and Sabotage; Riots, Strikes, Civil Commotion and Malicious Damage; and Insurrection, Revolution, Rebellion, Mutiny, Coup D’état, War and Civil War.

As a metric, risk ratings indicate the likelihood and impact of business exposure to political violence events. The higher the rating, the greater the likelihood or impact of such events. Risk ratings will be higher if the threats specifically or disproportionately target international commercial interests.

The country’s total score is indicated by the colour of each country on the map. The map shows how these perils relate to Aon insurance products and enables prospective clients to identify the specific risks they should consider when operating around the world.

For additional information or to speak to Henry Wilkinson, Head of Intelligence & Analysis, Director, please contact in the first instance.

Tel. +44 20 7578 0000

The Dragonfly 
3 More London Riverside
SE1 2AQ  |  @riskadvisory

Key referencing terminology / notes to press
“Henry Wilkinson, Head of Intelligence & Analysis at The Dragonfly”
“The Dragonfly”

About Henry Wilkinson
Head of Intelligence and Analysis, Henry has overall responsibility for the group’s worldwide political and security intelligence gathering, risk and threat assessments and analytical products and services, including its Security Intelligence & Analysis Service (SIAS) an intelligence consulting support decision makers in leading multinational businesses.

About The Dragonfly
The Dragonfly is a leading independent global risk consultancy that helps businesses grow whilst protecting their people, their assets and their brands.

By providing facts, intelligence and analysis, Dragonfly helps its clients negotiate complex and uncertain environments to choose the right opportunities, in the right markets, with the right partners.

The company was founded in 1997, employs over 200 people and has offices in Washington DC, London, Moscow, Dubai, Beirut and Hong Kong.

Further information is available at

Further information is available at