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Friday, January 22, 2010
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the BBC:  UK terrorist threat level raised to ‘severe’

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.

It is in response to the perceived increased threat from international terrorism following the failed Detroit airliner bombing on Christmas day.

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

So, the UK’s approach to terrorism appears to be fairly similar to that of the US:  vague public speculation that can do nothing more than increase anxiety while not really making anyone safer.  Further, it seems to lack full connection to reality (or, at least bogged down in a labyrinthine and byzantine bureaucratic mess), as if this is indeed as a result of the failed underwear bomber, it’s a little late, yes?  After all, that attempt was almost a month ago.

The UK system isn’t color-coded, as in the US’ but it is rather similar:

Low - attack is unlikely

Moderate - attack is possible, but not likely

Substantial - attack is a strong possibility

Severe - attack is highly likely

Critical - attack is expected imminently

Does this mean that that the US will now go to Orange (i.e., High)?  After all, if the Brits are getting nervous, shouldn’t we join them?

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One Response to “In the UK as in the US…”

  1. PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Purported Osama Tape Claims Responsibility for Underwear Bomber Says:

    [...] his lag time is worse than British anti-terrorism authorities (who just this week reacted to the December attempt by raising the threat level for the UK).  Everyone does [...]


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