LONDON (Talon News) — A new report by a London-based research company released on Sunday listed the United States as the fourth most likely nation to be hit with a major terrorist attack similar to the one that happened on September 11, 2001.

The World Markets Research Center found that Colombia, Israel, Pakistan, the United States, and the Philippines are “highly likely” to be targeted for a terrorist attack within the next year.

The World Terrorism Index annually evaluates the risks for 186 countries around the world. The index uses five primary areas for evaluating the potential threat: terrorist motivation, terrorist group presence in a country, degree of past terrorist attacks, success rate of terrorist attacks, and the number of terrorist attacks that have been prevented by the country.

Varying weights were given to each of the above criteria. For example, terrorist motivation accounts for 40 percent of the index while prevention of attacks only counts for 10 percent.

“Another Sept. 11-style terrorist attack in the United States is highly likely,” according to the report. “Networks of militant Islamist groups are less extensive in the U.S. than they are in Western Europe, but U.S.-led military action in Afghanistan and Iraq has exacerbated anti-U.S. sentiment.”

The report notes that the motivation of terrorists against the United States, as a “global superpower,” is considered a “legitimate, high-profile target.”

However, the report notes that terrorist presence in the United States is relatively low, “although it is probably the most open society in the world.”

U.S. interests abroad were also considered, which led to the high ranking for the United States on the index.

The World Markets Research Center generally concentrates on doing research for international clients, mostly banks and multinational businesses. However, many government organizations have also been clients, including Foreign Ministries, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The report shows that since September 11, 2001, terrorism has become an increasingly hostile threat to the success of businesses around the world. Every country faces the threat of terrorism, regardless of their size or wealth, the report continued.

A recent survey of World Markets Research Center customers found that 72 percent of them take into consideration the threat of terrorism when making decisions regarding business locations.

“What changed with 9-11 was that the threat was internationalized,” said Guy Dunn, author of the index. “All countries were at some risk. In essence terrorism has become a key risk to business. Companies have to take a much more specific interest in terrorism.”

After the first five countries on the list were Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iraq, India, Sri Lanka, and Great Britain.

The report found the country that is least likely to be the victim of a terrorist attack is North Korea.

“It may be on the ‘Axis of Evil,’ but this is about terrorist attacks on its soil,” Dunn said.

Other countries at the bottom of the list include Iceland, Andorra, Belarus, Liechtenstein, and Slovenia.

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