Tuesday, August 01, 2006

War on Terror - Threat to UK 'Severe'

As Israel’s offensive against Hezbollah continues, the death toll increases as do calls for a cessation of attacks. On Sunday an airstrike on Qana in southern Lebanon killed at least 60 including 40 children. But protests from Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General, have for the large part been ignored by the international community. The increased civilian death toll, now standing in excess of 400 in Lebanon is also angering many Muslims around the world and protests have taken place in India, Britain and elsewhere. Israel has also lost many civilians in the daily rocket attack launched by Hezbollah. At least 50 have been killed since the conflict began just over two weeks ago.
And the War on Terror is also continuing on a daily basis in Iraq and Afghanistan. On Tuesday at least 35 were killed in Baghdad by a car bomb [CNN] the BBC reporting that 44 had been killed in a series of attacks throughout the country. The average weekly death toll is near to 100 per week according to a recent UN report with at least one serious bomb attack occurring almost every few days. On the 23rd July a bomb attack killed at least 50 [BBC] but the reporting of such events has fallen from the main news agenda following recent events in Lebanon. The headlines change as further British military losses occur. On Tuesday a British soldier was killed in Basra after a mortar attack. Meanwhile in Afghanistan three British soldiers have been killed in an ambush by Taliban fighters [BBC].

And as anger in the Muslim world increases, so too does the threat against British interests. The Home Office today launched its terror alert system [Guardian] opening with the warning that Britain was very likely to be subjected to a terrorist attack. The alert system is similar in nature to that employed by the US Homeland Security Advisory System, but without the colour coding. But whereas the US threat level stands at ‘Elevated’, the UK advisory opened with a threat level of ‘Severe’, indicating that a terrorist attack was likely. Posted by Picasa

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