(LONDON) — The British government Friday raised the threat level for international terrorism to “severe,” indicating a terrorist attack is “highly likely” but based on intelligence not necessarily “imminent.”
U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May released a statement Friday saying the increased threat is “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 traveled from the U.K.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron said it was the first time in three years the threat has been raised to such a level in the U.K.
“What we’re facing in Iraq now with ISIS 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 to its ranks.
Western security officials have been concerned for months that ISIS recruits with Western passports could travel to Syria and Iraq and then return home with deadly skills to wreak havoc.
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