UK terror threat level raised to "severe"

Posted by K R on

The morning after U.S. President Barack Obama told the world he has “no strategy” for dealing with the Islamic State, the United Kingdom raised its terror threat level to “severe,” which means the authorities believe an attack is “highly likely.” The next highest level, “critical,” would mean a specific attack was considered imminent. If you’re going to have verbal descriptions for threat levels, I don’t know why you wouldn’t simply call them “Attack Likely” and “Attack Imminent.” Then again, we went with an even more inscrutable color-coding system in the United States. I sometimes wonder if all of these systems aren’t designed to give bureaucrats some degree of butt coverage without being clear enough to unduly alarm the populace, or get the bureaucrats criticized for issuing specific warnings that didn’t pan out. At any rate, the U.K. doesn’t raise its threat level very often – this is the first time in three years it has been elevated to “severe” – so this is a big deal. Prime Minister David Cameron did not seem inclined to drop a quick statement full of poll-tested talking points and knock off for the rest of the afternoon by playing golf with his buddies. Cameron made it clear the new alert posture is related to the continuing adventures of what Western leaders have apparently agreed to refer to as “ISIL,” although I still find that name unbearably clunky, so I stubbornly insist on using “ISIS.” I get the impression the head-choppers prefer ISIL, which is another reason not to use it. If the leaders of the West switch over to the more descriptive name “Team Evil,” I could get on board with that. Cameron’s speech is an interesting contrast with Obama’s Mad Lib “wrong side of history” boilerplate. He’s saying the same things the U.S. defense complex is saying, even though the White House is still mostly interested in changing the subject. For example, Cameron echoed U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel almost verbatim by saying, “What we’re facing in Iraq now, with ISIL, is a greater and deeper threat to our security than we have known before.” Cameron didn’t just leave it at that. He spent some time explaining just how big the threat of the Islamic State is, from its regional territorial ambitions, to its recruiting successes in Western nations. ISIS isn’t just a cave-dwelling terrorist gang dependent on the protection of foreign hosts; they have their own nation, and they’re planning expansion into Jordan and Lebanon, leaving the world saddled with “a terrorist state on the shores of the Mediterranean and bordering a NATO member.” Sounds like those guys do have a strategy, huh? Read more via Human Events.

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