Foreign Office warns UK travellers of revenge terror attack
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has urged Britons to be “vigilant” when travelling or living overseas against “generalised threat” from those “motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria”.
Earlier this year, home secretary Theresa May announced that the UK national terror threat level had been raised from “substantial” to “severe”, meaning an attack is now considered highly likely.
The British government introduced a threat level system in 2006 to warn of forms of terrorist activity in the country. The levels are divided in to five categories: critical, severe, substantial, moderate and low. At present the threat level stands at severe.
In September parliament backed British participation in air strikes against ISIS, with RAF aircraft supplying arms to the Kurdish peshmerga militias fighting against the extremists in large areas of both Syria and Iraq seized by the IS.
Experts deem, in response to these governmental actions and massive influx of jihadists using social media, since 2010 “unprecedented” number of jihadists have joined ISIS and their figure exceeds “many times” the growing total of the 20 previous years.
A UN report showed that approximately 15,00 people have travelled to fight with IS or other militant groups from “countries that have not previously faced challenges relating to Al-Qaeda”.
FCO has updated their travel advice on how to be more suspicious of everyone in airports and in other countries in general. It has categorised the threat under four levels:
High: Countries include France, Thailand and India.
General: Countries include Spain, Italy, China, USA and Australia.
Underlying: Countries include South Africa, Ireland, Norway and Portugal.
Low: Countries include Switzerland, Mexico and Japan.
Dr Frank Faulkner, terrorism expert at the University of Derby, told BBC News: “The move was a precaution as much as anything else and it could well come from anywhere.”
Public is advised to be vigilant at all times and FCO has also asked Britons in Syria to leave.