The British government today raised the threat level for international terrorism to “severe,” indicating a terrorist attack is “highly likely” but, based on intelligence, not necessarily “imminent” according to ABC News
Theresa May who is the U.K. Home Secretary released a statement and said “related to events in Syria and Iraq where terrorist groups are planning attacks against the West and that some of those attacks are likely to involve fighters who have travelled from the U.K.”
This level of threat was raised three years back in UK and Prime Minister (PM) David Cameron said “What we’re facing in Iraq now with ISIL is a greater and deeper threat to our security than we have known before,” Cameron said in an address to the nation, noting that the terrorist group, also known as ISIS for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, has recruited hundreds of British citizens fighting in Syria and Iraq.
With so many men and some women who have joined ISIS who are citizens of many European countries, western security officials have been concerned thatthese men and women if and when they return home will have with them deadly skills to spread terror.
In the US,Jeh Johnson, a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that DHS and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were "unaware of any specific, credible threat to the U.S homeland from IS." He further said, "Plainly, however, violent extremists who support ISIL have demonstrated the intent and capability to target American citizens overseas, and ISIL continues an active and serious threat within the region".
The United Kingdom has the most significant Muslim population in whole of Europe and has been victim of domestic terrorism back in 2005. With so many British Citizens directly involved in the conflict taking place in Syria and Iraq PM Cameron clearly stated that "It is becoming clear that there are some gaps in our armory and we need to strengthen them. We need to do more to stop people travelling, to stop those who do go from returning and to deal decisively with those who are already here."
Not mincing words, Mr. Cameron now wants a comprehensive threat analysis to protect British citizens from any attack which would further the cause of IS. This conflict could soon reach the British Isles and he said "It was clear evidence, not that any more was needed, that this is not some foreign conflict thousands of miles from home that we can hope to ignore. The ambition to create an extremist caliphate in the heart of Iraq and Syria is a threat to our own security here in the UK."