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1 Nov, 2014 18:16

UK warns Britons to be vigilant abroad as ISIS threat grows

UK warns Britons to be vigilant abroad as ISIS threat grows

UK holidaymakers have been warned they face a threat from the Islamic State, no matter where they are in the world. The Foreign Office issued a global terror warning, stating that tourists could be targeted in revenge for UK strikes in the Middle East.

The updated alert reflects an increase in the threat posed to UK nationals abroad, with the warning applying to every country in the world. It states that there is a generalized threat towards British citizens, rather than a specific risk based on intelligence gathered.

"There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria,"
the statement from the Foreign Office said. "You should be vigilant at this time."

The Foreign Office continues to provide travel warnings to individual countries, such as Iraq and Syria, where the Islamic State (IS) has taken over large areas of territory in both nations. However, due to coalition airstrikes against the militant group, there are now fears that Britons could become targets for Islamist sympathizers abroad, even in those countries which have traditionally had good relations with the UK.

In August, the UK’s national security threat was raised to its second highest rating due to risks posed by British IS fighters returning home from Syria and Iraq. British Prime Minister David Cameron even went as far as saying that those militants pose the country’s greatest ever security risk.

It is believed that around 500 British citizens have traveled to the Middle East to fight for the group formally known as ISIS. On October 29, a 21-year-old from London was arrested on the suspicion that he was assisting others to engage in terrorist activities abroad. Earlier in October, four British Islamist militants went on trial after they had plotted to kill policemen or soldiers. All four of those arrested had pledged allegiance to IS.