Britain raised its international terrorism threat level to “severe” Friday - meaning that an attack is “highly likely” - but said there was no specific intelligence to suggest an atrocity was imminent despite concern about ISIS and its Western-recruited fighters. The country’s biggest police force, London’s Metropolitan Police, said it was stepping up visible patrols but no other impact was expected.
“We face a real and serious threat in the UK from international terrorism,” Britain’s Home Secretary Theresa May said in a statement announcing the change. It is the second time since the discovery of the 2006 transatlantic airliner liquid bomb plot that the U.K. threat level has been higher than “substantial”. “This means a terrorist attack is highly likely, although there is no intelligence to suggest that one is imminent,” the statement said.
“The increase in the threat level is related to developments in Syria and Iraq where terrorist groups are planning attacks against the West,” May added. “Some of these plots are likely to involve foreign fighters who have traveled there from the UK and Europe to take part in those conflicts.”