Staying put

Anyone on holiday at the Riu Bellevue Park Hotel in Sousse last week had a terrible experience. If they were lucky enough to escape with their lives, they would have been anxious to get out of Tunisia as quickly as possible. Those staying in nearby hotels must have had similar thoughts – get home as quickly as you can.

But is that wise?

On this occasion, the terrorists were either amateurs or maybe did not want to inflict the maximum possible damage, knowing they had already done enough to destroy Tunisia’s tourism business. Had they really wanted to cause carnage, a bomb or mass shooting at Sousse airport on Saturday would surely have done the trick. Even if security at the airport had been beefed up, with hundreds of people queuing desperately for flights out of the country, there would have been plenty of opportunity.

When a country is hit by terrorism, it is a completely understandable reaction to try to leave as quickly as possible. Terrorists know that and they know that airports are difficult to protect, particularly when they are struggling to cope with a huge influx of desperate travellers.

Staying put, at least until the dust settles, is often the safest option.