ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, March 23 (UPI) -- Terrorist attacks worldwide are expected to rise during the next two decades, a security expert said during a conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
But Ekaterina Stepanova, lead researcher at Russia's Institute of World Economy and International Relations, said she didn't expect state-based conflicts to exceed 40 a year until 2030, Gulf News reported Wednesday.
"Non-state conflicts are expected to double in comparison to government intervention, which means more civilians than armed personnel will be targeted," Stepanova said during the Center for Strategic Studies and Research's 16th Annual Conference.
She said the world has witnessed a "three-fold increase in terrorism" during the last 10 years that unlikely would decline any time soon.
"Unfortunately, civilians are the main object of instability today," Stepanova said, "and in my opinion the most effective strategy is to build and improve state functionality and legitimacy."
Cities have become smarter in fighting terrorism, employing such tactics as using counter-crime material in their new developments and buildings, said Richard Clarke, a former U.S. presidential adviser and national coordinator for security and counter-terrorism.
"What usually kills people in terrorist attacks is the flying glass. Every new major development in Abu Dhabi goes through a design process to minimize the effects of a terrorist attack through the use of materials that help reduce the damage," Clarke said.
However, Clarke said cities must be prepared for worst-case scenarios, whether a terrorist attack, natural disaster or war, the Gulf News said.
"We can build safer and more secure cities, we can live in a safer world," he said. "(But) to do that, we have to overcome our tendency to think that bad things don't happen, because the history of the first decade of this century is that year after year the worse case scenarios are happening."