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Islamic State will target Western Hotels abroad

According to recent reporting by the FBI, “the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to hospitality and entertainment businesses frequented by US persons and other Westerners abroad likely will endure in 2016, based on a body of open source reporting. ISIL leadership, official propaganda, and supporter-generated content continue to advocate attacks against Western interests by lone offenders, and threaten officially sanctioned ISIL attacks. Other supporters of ISIL have, via various social media sites, called for retaliation against the United States and US and Western interests abroad, especially since US-led air strikes in Iraq and Syria began in August 2014.”

The FBI highlights the Paris attacks as well as forum posts on radical Islamic websites such as the one in September 2014 where Abu-Muhammad al-Adnani urged lone wolf attackers and emergent terrorist cells “in any manner” to kill “soldiers, patrons, and troops…their police, security, and intelligence members.” The message stated potential attackers should “not ask for anyone’s advice” before striking, because such attacks are legitimate.”

The report notes that “Despite not having typically targeted US commercial interests previously, ISIL and its supporters are likely to target any Western hospitality or entertainment business found to be operating in or transiting ISIL- controlled or -contested territory. In particular, as in the past, ISIL and its affiliates are likely to target hotels or other facilities housing or associated with US persons. The FBI makes this assessment with high confidence on the basis of the variety of targets ISIL has attacked and threatened to date. Suicide bombers from ISIL’s forerunner, al-Qa’ida in Iraq, in November 2005 struck three Western-owned hotels in Amman, Jordan, killing 60, including four US Persons.”

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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