United Kingdom Goes to Severe Alert

The United Kingdom has raised their alert level to “severe”, which means a terrorist attack is highly likely.  Do they know something that we do not?  Our President has not raised our level and has not addressed this development.  Threat levels in the U.K. are decided by the Security Service (MI5) and the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC).  These organizations gather information through intelligence in the U.K. and abroad.  This tells me that they have information that a terrorist group has become very active.

U.K. Home Secretary Alan Johnson said the security level was raised to get people in Britain to be more vigilant, but that no specific threats had been received.  None of their intelligence has caused them to suspect an attack is imminent.

The Associated Press reports:

Friday’s changes came days after Britain suspended direct flights to Yemen’s capital in response to the growing threat from Al Qaeda-affiliated militants based in that country. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said his government also was creating a new terrorist no-fly list, and targeting specific airline passengers for tougher security checks.

The measures followed a discussion between Brown and President Barack Obama on Tuesday. They match similar moves made by U.S. authorities last week to enhance security at airports and on planes, as intelligence officials warned that Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen was continuing to plot attacks on the United States.

The stepped-up security in the U.S. included more air marshals on flights to and within the U.S. and additional screening at airports around the world.

Brown said Britain and other nations face a sharply growing threat from Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists based in Yemen and an area of north Africa that includes nations such as Somalia, Nigeria, Sudan and Ethiopia.

Officials and analysts say Britain’s new alert level could be related to the emergence of a steady stream of threat information since the thwarted Christmas Day attack.

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