The risk of a major terrorist attack on the US in the next year has increased by 15%-20%, according to risk forecaster Risk Management Solutions (RMS).

RMS director of terrorism Andrew Coburn said the annual property loss due to terrorism in the US was over $1bn per year, with worldwide losses estimated at $4.5bn per year.

Exclusive Analysis managing director Simon Sole said he agreed that the risk of an attack in the US had gone up, but that it was impossible to put a precise figure on it.

"We do think that an attack on the US in the next 12 months is likely, but it will not be on the scale of the World Trade Center attacks," Sole said.

Coburn added that the UK has also been assessed as a higher risk in the coming

12 months. "Iraq has been a driver of resentment and anger [in the Islamic community], which has led to the recruitment of European fighters.

"These people are now returning to Europe radicalised and trained," he warned.

' Beech Underwriting Agency is launching a new terrorism quote engine, which is being distributed to brokers this week in CD Rom form. Beech Underwriting managing director Geoff Stilwell said brokers would be able to quote for terrorism cover for residential, blocks of flats and all commercial risks.