UK put on alert for beheading attack from extremists
British security services are reportedly on "high alert" for a beheading attack in Britain after online "chatter" by jihadists discussing plans to murder soldiers, police and intelligence operatives.
It is feared that extremists want to copy Isil's killing of James Foley, David Haines, Alan Henning and other hostages last year by abducting a target and posting footage of their death on the internet, 'The Times' reported.
A tweet from an account claiming to be from a man fighting with Isil in Syria on New Year's Eve read: "Allahu akbar! Islamic State has killed a British soldier in Britain in his own home." Although no such murder was found to have taken place, sources told the newspaper it prompted a major alert and extensive investigation.
The emergence of Isil in Syria and Iraq was one of the factors causing the UK's terrorist threat level to be raised to "severe" in August, meaning that an attack is deemed "highly likely" but not imminent. It has remained at that level, one below the highest alert, but the possibility of a Paris-style attack like the massacre at 'Charlie Hebdo' and following hostage crises is being examined. As well as an increased police presence outside major military and tourist sites, the Metropolitan Police's helicopters have been carrying out "proactive security patrols over various locations" since the 'Charlie Hebdo' attack last Wednesday. (© Independent News Service)