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Current threat level

The current threat level from international terrorism for the UK is assessed as SEVERE.

Members of the public should always remain alert to the danger of terrorism and report any suspicious activity to the police on 999 or the anti-terrorist hotline: 0800 789 321.

The threat-levels

There are five levels of threat:

  • Critical – an attack is expected imminently.
  • Severe – an attack is highly likely.
  • Substantial – an attack is a strong possibility.
  • Moderate – an attack is possible but not likely.
  • Low – an attack is unlikely.

Source and form of the threat

The threat of international terrorism comes from a diverse range of sources, including Al Qaida and associated networks, and those who share Al Qaida’s ideology but do not have direct contact with them. A threat could manifest itself from a lone individual or group.

sources :MI5 ,Home office.

We are at the beginning a campaign that will pitch the security services against a large citizen minority that sympathise with the Jihadi and militant Islamic movement overseas and who peculiarly are able to enjoy the freedoms offered by their places of birth to assist movements who are at odds with those very freedoms.

There  are many questions raised as to the cause of growing radicalisations. No doubt the over reactions and ill-judged persecution of the Muslim community in reactions to terrorist attack in New York, Spain and London had a part in this matter. One must also factor in the reluctance of the first two waves of immigrants from places such Pakistan to integrate to the main society. The politicisation of Islamic sentiments and nurturing of its radical elements by the very agencies who are now tasked to oppose during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan have added fuel to a volatile geopolitical environment since the Iraqi invasion .

The relaxed and almost naive attitude that allowed certain sects within Islam to come to dominate the tone and delivery of Islamic teaching in mosques across the country must be seen as the main contributor to this issue. These elements benefitted from substantial financial backing and logistical support from countries such as Saudi Arabia and smaller Gulf states.

The Metropolitan Police have asked the public for information to help them identify persons travelling overseas to join organisations such ISIS. During this appeal they have revealed that all security agencies have witnessed the doubling of number of people travelling overseas either to join or take cash to groups such as ISIS and others involved with armed conflicts in middle east .

This public appeal is based on the fact that many people encountered by the security forces have no previous history and therefore are invisible to the systems in place but may be known to private citizens.

It has yet to be seen whether the Islamic community will respond positively to this appeal but one thing is clear the appeal itself underscores a key weakness in the battle against this dire problem that of lack insight, positive interaction with the community and trust.

With upcoming Nato summit in Cardiff Wales on 4th Sep and the stiffening of attitude against ISIS the UK’s international threat level has officially been increased to substantial that indicates a  strong possibility of an attack.

The concerns have been underscored by the recent showing of a Jihadi recruitment video featuring Nasser Muthana, and his younger brother Aseel both from Cardiff. The young brothers travelled secretly to Join ISIS.

In Cardiff what has been referred to as a ring of steel has been set up featuring Hostile Vehicle Mitigation a counter measure against vehicle borne threats , a steel fence measuring 2.5 kilometres surrounding Cardiff Castle which is site of the Nato Summit and a 1000 meter fence around Cardiff bay .

With up to 28 heads of states, foreign ministers and defence chiefs expected it can be seen why the event is a potential target for any group seeking maximum impact from terror operation.

The summit will be the place where recent developments to ISIS is discussed and responses developed this will also be the occasion where USA will directly put pressure on its allies to participate in short and long term strategies against global Jihadi movement led increasingly by ISIS.

 

The unconfirmed reports that ISIS or IS (Islamic state) as they like to be called now days has issued its own passport  begs another question, who in the international community will recognise them and will accept this documents?

The tempo and nature of response to ISIS is rapidly changing, the Americans weary of being the only responders to the crises have successfully urged various security partners to become involved.

First among them has been  the UK who initially responded with caution and even stated their reluctance to commit militarily but have now seen their prime minster making  very strong statements which will be the prelude to combat units being deployed, these initially will be special forces personnel who will be tasked with reconnaissance, intelligence and most immediately with target acquisition for the combat aircrafts, a task made important by the nature of ISIS tactics.

Even though ISIS has captured a large amount of heavy weaponry during its initial advances and has in its ranks trained soldiers and officers from Syrian  and Iraqi armies who can operate the systems it has not put the heavier weaponry into regular use and It remains largely a light mobile force that has exploited the vast undefended spaces it has move into. Sunni Muslim sympathies in the area has also assisted their advances.

More modern weaponry is being delivered to Kurdish fighters who are already beginning to feel the benefit of air support by USA. This has resulted in ISIS issuing direct threats to UK and USA and the UK prime minster advising of new measures against their supporters in UK and beyond.

The newly appointed Iraqi prime minister has been given a breathing space to make amends for the previous administration’s mistakes and a chance to mobilise the army to start making a concentrated effort to capture lost territory.

ISIS has initially benefited from the convictions of its followers and the vigour this generated in combat but is beginning to experience stiffer resistance from the Kurds who are now defending their own territories. The brutality that ISIS has inflicted on other minorities and the members of the majority Shia will undoubtedly stiffen resistance to them in future fights on the ground. There are growing signs of Tribes men turning their guns on the ISIS, their involvement proved critical in fights against Jihadi insurgency in the past.

The Spector of ISIS and the Nusra Front(Al Qaeda proxy in Syria) fighting each other in Syria as they settle the power struggle to lead the global Jihadi movement and secret collaboration between the USA and IRAN certainly makes this an interesting area for security analysts the world over.

It remains to be seen if behind the door pressures applied to the alleged sponsors of the ISIS will bear any effects or will further cool the relationship between the west and the countries accused of funding and nurturing them such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey.

It is certainly a matter of time that a major terror incident with the stamp of approval of ISIS in the west takes place, this will be the response to the west’s military actions against them and the next step in replacing Al Qaeda as standard bearer in Jihadi movement. The beheading of American journalist James Foley today (August 19th 2014) must be seen as a prelude of things to come.

 

 

With the news of additional gains by ISIS in Iraq one is reminded of the fact that the organisation is barely 3 years old and yet it has managed to occupy a vast territory in Iraq rapidly.

Recently the Kurdish fighters arrested a well-placed individual and obtained information from him that led to a large number of flash drives on which existed financial information that gave indications about ISIS operating budget, the sum indicated was over £750 million pounds this in addition to the value of equipment confiscated that puts the war chest value at just over £1.5 billion.

While such groups have traditionally struggled for finance and this has reduced their ability to obtain sophisticated weaponry such as latest shoulder or vehicle launch anti-aircraft missiles, this clearly is not an issue for ISIS. The recent controversy regarding British air ways flight path over Iraq is caused by these issues.

The other problem is the large number of educated European based extremist that have joined this group in their campaigns in Syria and Iraq has given a great deal of concern to security services in UK as to potential threats inherent upon the return of these individuals to the country.

The concerns are added to by the brutality the ISIS have displayed to all that oppose them

To many ISIS has replaced Al-Qaeda as future threat, what is certain that security forces everywhere are watching the development with great interests

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up to half the staff at the Russian embassy in London could be involved in intelligence gathering, a senior source told The Daily Telegraph.

Around 40 Moscow spies are believed to be operating in this country at any one time. Some are involved in traditional state espionage, while others monitor London-based oligarchs or engage in industrial spying for the commercial benefit of Russian firms.

There are fears Russia will ramp up its efforts over the coming months while the UK security services focus on the Olympic Games and the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. Britain’s close relationship with America is also hugely attractive for Russia who sees it as a “back door” to US intelligence, one expert warned.

Relations between the two nations have been strained in recent years, in particular following the murder of Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006 and difficulties in extraditing the chief suspect Andrei Lugovoi.

Daily Telegraph reports