British terror threat level ‘severe’ amid fear of attacks

snagfilms-a.akamaihd-1.net635604679645533620-tsa-ch-b1163b2fe14d219b1bec221ef89452b1cdaaf8d8

Credit: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

The United Kingdom’s terror threat level is at “severe” following the March 22 attack along Westminster Bridge, and the alert state is likely to remain just below “critical” following notices to British airports and nuclear power stations that terrorists may have the means to evade security measures.

According to an April 2 piece on the Telegraph’s website, the Islamic State group and al-Qaida are among the terror groups whose potential to disguise explosives within functioning electronics has led to laptop, iPad and e-reader carry-on bans for travelers from multiple Muslim countries. These include Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia.

Based on intelligence evaluated by the Department of Homeland Security, the United States has enacted similar protocols prohibiting anything larger than a cellphone from being in the cabin of nonstop flights to the U.S. on foreign carriers coming from 10 designated airports in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

This ability to smuggle explosives within the battery compartments of operable, everyday items was possibly devised by terrorists who obtained standard airport screening equipment for experimentation, according to the Telegraph piece.

Government and nongovernment security services remain concerned that safety checks may be capable of being bypassed.

While on the cyber front, the nuclear industry has been warned of the potential for terrorists, spies and hacktivists to launch a campaign against the civil sector that “could disrupt supply, damage facilities, delay hazard and risk reduction, and risk adverse impacts to workers, the public or the environment,” according to government officials quoted by the Telegraph.