Luxury Hotels Emerge as Terrorist Targets

Luxury establishments are becoming terrorist targets
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2008 9:32 AM CST
People look at the Taj Mahal hotel, where Indian commandos had a severe operation against terrorists, in Mumbai, India, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008.    (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
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(Newser) – The Mumbai attacks have provided world travelers with a new cause for concern, writes the New York Times: Increasingly, luxury hotels in developing countries are becoming terrorist targets. The raids on the Taj and Oberoi hotels come only 2 months after a car bomb blew apart the Islamabad Marriott, and American hotel chains are now actively discussing changes to their security policies.

"I think it's fair to say what happened in Mumbai is going to re-energize" security measures, said one Ritz-Carlton exec. Many luxury hotels in Asia already take precautions: The Hyatt in Jakarta searches guests' bags, while one top Islamabad hotel grills all guests before letting them in. But because travelers dislike overly intrusive measures, some changes might be more surreptitious; as one expert said, "We might see cleaning ladies with explosives detectors."