News / Europe

    Britain Raises Terror Alert, Cites British Terrorists

    Armed police officers pose for the media in Downing Street, central London, Aug. 29, 2014.
    Armed police officers pose for the media in Downing Street, central London, Aug. 29, 2014.
    Al Pessin

    Britain has raised its terrorism alert level in response to the rise of Islamic extremist groups in Iraq and Syria, and the belief that British citizens fighting with such groups could bring terror home.  
     
    The new British terror threat level is called “severe,” which means an attack is “highly likely,” but there is no information about a specific terrorist plan.
     
    This is the first time in three years that the level has been so high, just one notch below the top of the scale ['critical'].  Prime Minister David Cameron said the decision was made by an independent government commission because the rise of the group in Iraq and Syria once called ISIL or ISIS, which now calls itself the Islamic State, poses a threat to Britain.
     
    “What we’re facing in Iraq now with ISIL is a greater and deeper threat to our security than we have known before," said Cameron.
     
    Cameron said about 500 British citizens have gone to join the group in Syria and Iraq.  Those men can easily re-enter Britain.
     
    The masked terrorist who murdered American journalist James Foley earlier this month spoke with a British accent.
     
    The prime minister is expected to ask Parliament next week to give the government more authority to go after such men, and to prevent them from leaving or re-entering the country.
     
    Cameron characterized the fight against terrorism as a battle of ideologies.  He said Britain will take a comprehensive approach to combat what he called the “poisonous narrative” of Islamic extremism.  
     
    “We cannot appease this ideology.  We have to confront it at home and abroad.  To do this, we need a tough, intelligent, patient and comprehensive approach to defeat the terrorist threat at its source," he said.
     
    Cameron said that will include measures to promote moderation here in Britain, and stability and democracy in the Middle East.  
     
    He said Britain will also continue humanitarian aid drops in Iraq and intelligence sharing with allies.  But he indicated the United States will remain in the lead on military action against Islamic State fighters.
     
    Terrorism expert Raffaello Pantucci of the Royal United Services Institute says the Islamic State is mainly interested in increasing its power in and around the area it controls.  But he says it has sometimes taken action farther afield, and the group’s leaders, or individual members, could decide to do so again.
     
    “We’ve certainly seen a number of plots that have taken place in Europe, where it’s been clear that the individuals have fought alongside ISIS.  It’s not clear that these individuals received tasking orders from the group to launch the attacks.  It’s a large organization with a lot of people who are joining it.  And some of them might decide that they should do something which they will see as an advance of the group’s aims, but isn’t necessarily directed by them," said Pantucci.
     
    A terrorist who had fought for the Islamic State carried out the shooting at the Jewish Museum in Brussels in May that left four people dead.  
     
    Pantucci says most people will not notice the impact of Britain’s higher terrorism alert level, which he says will mainly affect the work of government agencies and security services.  

     

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
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    by: Anonymous
    August 30, 2014 5:43 AM
    Democracy is a double-edged sword. On one end, democracy for the educated is a tool of collective might and wisdom. On the other end, democracy for the savage is a weapon of anarchic chaos and destruction. Combine this with a war on terrorism by instilling fear onto its own citizens and you have a brilliant grand strategy to exert onto the world. Bravo, Britain, but subtlety is key in today's information age.

    by: Philip Smeeton from: Oslo
    August 30, 2014 5:10 AM
    Stand up to the far away extremists but capitulate to the Muslims in Britain. Honest opinion polls show that the majority of Muslims in Western countries support ISIS

    by: Sunray
    August 30, 2014 12:40 AM
    The photograph of the armed Policemen says it all, tragic it has come to this, where extremists, who are British citizens to one of the best countries in the world, can bring harm to their own people and others.

    by: blar from: pa
    August 29, 2014 4:27 PM
    But will they do the smart thing and remove every single non-citizen muslim of middle eastern or african descent from their country? Probably not. Time will tell.
    In Response

    by: David from: London
    August 31, 2014 9:09 AM
    Would you do the smart thing by not spewing out jibberish? Remove every single non-citizen muslim of Middle Eastern & African descent??? Wow! The world is at greater risk from thinking like yours, than it is from extremist groups. In case you didn't know, the majority of these sort of extreme ideology is cultivated by citizens, NOT non-citizens.

    by: Nurpinder from: Toronto
    August 29, 2014 3:56 PM
    I understand not all Muslim are the Terrorist but look...? news in anywhere around the world 95% violence done by the Sunni Muslim. Sunni Muslim immigration policy made by stupid politician ...? all western must stop Islamic Sunni Immigration Immediately to protect future of their country, children, culture and religion neither Sunni Muslim will destroy everything one day ...?specially Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Somalia are moving in west as such Canada is now key source of Islamic migration centre Canadian will pay cost later.
    In Response

    by: Xavier-Egaro
    August 29, 2014 5:40 PM
    Nurpinder, you dont sound Canadian. Go back to where you came from. We dont trust where you either. You're the same as all the rest of them, coming to Canada to eat a free meal and drain government resources!
    In Response

    by: kumar krishana from: India
    August 29, 2014 5:15 PM
    No one is bad dear ...it the surroundings in which one grows... Islamic principles is inherently intolerant then what you expect....it explicitly command violence to non belivrs....IS people are just follwoing The Holy book.....thats all
    In Response

    by: ab
    August 29, 2014 4:27 PM
    Shiite Muslims are very violent too. It's just that there are less of them.

    by: Cassandra from: Canada
    August 29, 2014 3:46 PM
    Ahh, just like the good old days.
    Invade some Middle East countries, create terrorists, strike fear into the citizens at home and then strip away their civil rights in order to keep them "safe".
    In Response

    by: jerryball from: san francisco
    August 29, 2014 4:38 PM
    Ahh, BUT these terrorists are NOT from Middle East countries, they are "created" within our borders. It's easy to be flip and cool when the facts are not on your side, but reality is a hard lesson.
    In Response

    by: Ow Fave
    August 29, 2014 4:19 PM
    these people are savage sub humans they bled people to death in public squares using medical equipment and they be headed little girls. I realize you live a sheltered life in Canada where it is easy to be liberal but please don't blame yourself for savage uncivilized people

    by: John Riddle from: usa
    August 29, 2014 3:42 PM
    Well at least you should know by now why we fight so hard for the second amendment not to many outwardly active terrorist cells operating here, you no what we mean!

    by: meanbill from: USA
    August 29, 2014 2:46 PM
    England should have remembered, that for every action, there is a reaction, isn't that true?.... (what you send up, comes back down?)
    When the US and NATO (that England is a member of), armed and trained the foreign (some from England) Sunni Muslims ultra-extremists to wage war on the Shia Muslim led country of Syria, and now Iraq, (they should have remembered that old adage), that sooner or later, the chickens will come home to roost, and what you sow, you shall reap?.... (and what you did in Syria, will come back and kick you in the butt?)

    by: kebe from: US
    August 29, 2014 12:32 PM
    Cameron may have to lead the free world, good to see him stepping up.
    In the US, the lead stories are regarding "Obama's Tan Suit" (LA Times) and about the White House cook "Obama's Foodmaster General" (NY Times) full of intriguing info that will help the world not one bit, ever.
    In Response

    by: Tanksilver from: Washington
    August 29, 2014 3:54 PM
    You may be right, but as of now the US is the only one taking actual action against IS, at least in Iraq.

    by: MW from: Texas
    August 29, 2014 12:26 PM
    I don't know how the Brits can claim anyone has a "violent agenda" when they've pretty much enslaved and robbed every other race on this planet and are directly responsible for the instability in the Middle East. Bunch of self-righteous slavers.
    In Response

    by: Joe from: UK
    August 30, 2014 6:45 AM
    It's the bloody 21st century, mate. No one responsible for everything that happened during the time of the almighty empire is alive anymore.
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