When he was president elect Donald Trump used that status to promote his hotel business. Since the inauguration he has done the same, albeit at a lower level or more behind the scenes. So it is obvious that he thinks that being president will make him even richer than he already is. I think he may be mistaken about that, seriously mistaken.
Numerous people other than me have said that Donald Trump is ISIL’s¹ best recruiting tool. This is even more true after his ban on (some) Muslim immigration. His status as President also makes him a prime target of terrorists and a lot of other people, but the President is probably the best protected person in the world. But what about Trump’s properties? He has hotels in Washington DC, Miami, Waikiki, Chicago, Las Vegas, New York (2), Albermarle Virginia (at a winery) and that is just in the United States. There are also Trump hotels in Panama and Rio de Janiero. This is a list of some of the other hotels and such which are outside of the United States and have Trump’s name on them.
Now, what happens if there is an attack by ISIL/Al Qaeda/whoever on a Trump branded property? If it’s a minor attack (one or two people killed²), probably not much, especially if it happens in a Muslim country. If it is a situation where Trump made a deal with the hotel owner to put the Trump name on the building then Trump has no money at stake. The hotel owner may talk to his lawyers to see if he can get out of the deal and it would certainly discourage any future deals of that type, but it can’t create an actual loss for Trump like it could for the building owner. But what if there are multiple attacks and one such attack is on a Trump owned and operated hotel in the U.S.? That might get potential guests thinking ‘Do I really want to stay at a Trump hotel if that makes me a potential target for a terrorist?’. This is especially true since most people greatly over estimate the risk of being killed or injured in a terrorist attack. This means that an attack on one Trump hotel in the U.S. would discourage people from staying at any Trump hotel in the U.S. or the world.
A complicating factor for Trump in this situation is that a hotel is a tough building to protect. The security personnel would expect to see a lot of people whom they have never seen before walking into the building throughout the day and evening. In addition, there will be numerous vehicles, again which the security people have never seen before, pulling right up to the front entrance throughout the day and evening. The kind of security necessary to protect the hotel would almost certainly be annoying to the typical person who would stay at a Trump hotel and would also remind those people that the hotel was a potential terrorist target.
So, what are the chances that something like I described above actually happening? I have no idea. The information I would need to make such an assessment is in the hands of either ISIL or the intelligence community, neither of which is going to make that information public unless it is to their benefit in some way. As such I am not sure I would trust the information released to be all that accurate or truthful. The only things I am fairly certain of is that ISIL would love to strike back at Trump and that the Trump properties are an obvious target.
- There are three names I have seen used to refer to the would-be caliphate, ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh. I don’t use the term ISIS because that is also the name of an ancient Egyptian goddess and there are numerous businesses around the world that use that name in their title. I don’t use Daesh because the members of that organization consider that name to be an insult. I don’t have a problem at all with insulting those bozos, but that creates a side issue that is irrelevant to the point I am trying to make in this post.
- Obviously not minor to the one or two people killed or their loved ones, but I am trying to look at the bigger picture.