| 4.9°C Dublin

British terror alert raised to 'severe'

Britain raised its international terrorism threat level to 'severe' -- its second-highest level of terror alert yesterday.

"The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) has raised the threat to the UK from international terrorism from substantial to severe. This means that a terrorist attack is highly likely, but there is no intelligence to suggest an attack is imminent," said Britain's Home Secretary Alan Johnson.

"JTAC keeps the threat level under constant review and makes its judgments based on a broad range of factors, including the intent and the capabilities of international terrorist groups in the UK and overseas," he said.

Britain hosts an international conference on Afghanistan on January 28 that may set a timetable for transferring responsibility for some areas to Afghan control. It will include Afghan President Hamid Karzai, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and the NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Irish Independent