'Severe' Terror Threat in London
By James Jay Carafano Posted in Foreign Affairs — Comments (1) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
LONDON -- While visiting Great Britain to talk to government officials about terrorism, it does not take long to figure our one thing -- they are really worried about terrorists. On any given day, the government admits it is undertaking about 30 investigations, tracking 200 groups and looking for about 2,000 suspects.
The British have terrorist alert levels similar to the United States. They use adjectives instead of colors. They are the “severe” level, indicating a terrorist attack is likely. They don’t anticipate the level will change anytime soon. For the rest of the Long War, Britain will likely remain “severe,” just as America will likely always be “orange.”
That said, London is a busy place. Sunday night people packed Trafalgar Square, standing shoulder-to-shoulder. You can find the same scene in Times Square (even though Americans know we are under the gun -- at least 19 terrorist conspiracies aimed at the U.S. have been broken up since 9/11.
The terror level may be severe, but Britons and Americans are not afraid to leave their homes. In part, that is because they know their countries are not easy targets. The U.S. and the U.K. take the threat seriously and are seriously trying to combat it.
What has worked best to make us safe is not inspecting or screening everything or trying to seal the border, but going after the terrorists -- taking out their leadership, breaking up their networks, disrupting their operations, cutting off their sources of recruiting and funding.
[The Heritage Foundation’s James Jay Carafano will be blogging on RedState about his trip to London to study counterterrorism measures.]