Britain’s terror threat has been raised to ‘severe’ with the possibility of an attack on home soil elevated to ‘highly likely’.
Theresa May, the homes secretary, today announced in a speech that the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) has raised the threat level from ‘substantial’ to ‘severe’.
She gave no immediate reason for the increase but stressed that there had been no specific intelligence to suggest an attack was imminent.
The move comes in the wake of the beheading of American journalist James Foley by a British Islamic State jihadist known only as ‘John’.
It also comes after a video showing the execution of 250 Syrian soldiers appeared online yesterday and another of a Kurdish man being beheaded by IS members.
There has also been several videos of British islamic extremists urging jihad.
Theresa May said: ‘The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) is responsible for setting the national threat level. That informs the decisions of security professionals across the public and private sectors about the appropriate level of security in place across the United Kingdom.
‘JTAC’s judgements about that threat level are made on the basis of the very latest intelligence and are independent of ministers.
‘JTAC has today raised the threat level to the UK from international terrorism from SUBSTANTIAL to SEVERE. That means that a terrorist attack is highly likely, but there is no intelligence to suggest that an attack is imminent.’