When we think of the words terror, terrorist and terrorism, the thing that most often comes to mind is horrific loss of life and destruction of property and actually, property comes in distance second, as it should. Unless it is some ancient monument or structure, that once it is destroyed, it is gone for good – property can always be reclaimed and rebuilt.
But what about livelihood? When a terrorist attack occurs, we never discuss the potential economic effect it may have.
Naturally, economic terrorism has no place being discussed in the same breath as death or injury, but don’t for a moment think that groups like ISIS, al-Qaeda, et. al. aren’t conscious of it. They surely are.
Why does ISIS have a cyber-jihad division? Is it to protect their bank accounts, better secure emails and make snazzy websites? Of course not. They’ve had plans to infiltrate various countries infrastructure networks since their inception. They and we, at least our intelligence community, know a cyber-attack on our power grid, water supply and communications could be devastating to a city or the nation.
Yet economic terror doesn’t have to be the result of a large-scale, coordinated master plan. It can simply come from a lone Islamist gunman.
The Riu Imperial Marhaba hotel is an upscale luxury resort in Tunisia. The massive, sprawling beachfront complex sits on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and is a popular vacation destination for Europeans – especially Brits. The area attracts many millions each year. It all ended on June 26, 2015. You may recall it, as many videos and stills instantly went viral.
It was midday when a lone ISIS gunman stepped onto the resort’s beach, his AK-47 (not AR-15) hidden in a beach umbrella. Seifeddine Rezgui Yahoubi was trained at a terror camp in Libya, the same camp that trained the British ISIS fighter, Jihadi John…