Donald Trump will be the first President of the United States with a significant and global property portfolio and brand. Given the steady global face of terror attacks (last year 21 countries saw suicide bombings), and the anti-American sentiment that goes with much of that, the Trump logo might well be seen as the President-elect’s Achilles’ heel.
An improvised explosive device (IED) attack on a Trump-named building oversees could be seen as a direct attack on America itself.
Turkey, for instance, saw 77 IED incidents (as reported in English language media and recorded by Action on Armed Violence), last year. These caused 2,475 deaths and injuries, of which 1,718 were civilians.
This was a significant increase on 2015, which saw 32 IED incidents in Turkey, causing 1,021 deaths and injuries, of which 845 were civilians.
Against this backdrop of murder, it can’t be ignored that there are two Trump Towers in Turkey’s capital, Istanbul. These come complete with a major shopping mall and a multiplex cinema. And, as if to add more fuel to a jihadist’s fire, the residential tower includes the only collective wine cellar in Turkey, able to store 16,800 bottles.
Whether defending these soft targets could impact the President-elect’s future international policy decisions is perhaps an argument too far, but Donald Trump’s flair for publicity will certainly mean they are known to would-be bombers the world over.
In order to stop attacks on these, and other, public landmarks, far more needs to be done to combat the global spread of the improvised explosive device.
Greater co-ordination multilaterally and bilaterally needs to be seen in preventing precursor explosive materials ending up in the hands of Salafist-jihadists and others.
More needs to be done making safe explosive weapon stockpiles, and clearing up the explosive remnants of war that are often used to create IEDs.
Agencies like Interpol and the World Trade Organization need to build on their successes in countering IED proliferation. And the United Nations needs further to prioritise addressing the issue of IED harm, just as it once did landmines and cluster munitions.
Because, to put it simply, failing to address the global spread of IEDs innovatively and urgently will make the Trump Towers in Istanbul, and others, a terrorist’s dream waiting to become a nightmare.
This article was quoted in a Vice News article: Trump-branded buildings are likely terror targets, but it’s unclear who will pay for extra security
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