January 22, 2010

Red Alert: UK Raises Terror Threat Level, Attack "Highly Likely"

What does this mean? That a terrorist attack against the UK is not imminent, but is highly likely. Um, I'm not sure the distinction eases my fears any.

BBC:

The UK terror threat level is being raised from "substantial" to "severe", Home Secretary Alan Johnson has said.

The new alert level means a terrorist attack is considered "highly likely". It had stood at substantial since July....

Mr Johnson stressed there was no intelligence to suggest a terrorist attack was imminent.

The decision to raise the threat level was made by the UK's Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC).

Apparently the raising of the threat level is somehow connected to the failed Christmas Day underwear bombing which was planned by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). AQAP continues to saber rattle over attacks by the Yemeni Army against them.

Given the recent events at Fort Hood and Little Rock, I'd be mindful of home-grown jihadis. Even though the Brits are much better at keeping an eye on domestic terrorists, the numbers of would-be jihadists in the UK are astronomical -- literally thousands and thousands of young men with sympathies toward al Qaeda. And with those kinds of numbers, it's really hard to keep tabs.

UPDATE: The Times has a different take on what this is connected to:

"The Times understands that the decision to raise the threat level is connected to the conference on Afghanistan taking place at Lancaster Gate, London, next Thursday.

Sources said there had been intensive discussions throughout the day relating to intelligence suggesting a possible attempted “spectacular” by an al-Qaeda affiliated group."
Thanks to Leap of Faith.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:12 PM | Comments |