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FCO Issues Blanket Travel Terrorism Warning to British Citizens

FCO Issues Blanket Travel Terrorism Warning to British Citizens

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London has updated it’s travel advice for all British citizens worldwide, as government intervention against the Islamic State has created a state of “heightened threat” from “individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria”.

The global warning, published yesterday was applied to each individual travel advice page provided by the government for the benefit of British holiday makers, business travellers and expatriates, reports The Guardian. An FCO press release said: “The government regularly reviews and updates its travel advice to make sure it provides the most up to date information and advice for British nationals. Given coalition action in Syria and Iraq and the threat to countries involved, we have decided today to update our travel advice to reflect this”.

Rather than indicating specific intelligence related to individual threats in all of the world’s nations, the new warning reflects a “generalised threat” of Islamic extremism, after repeated calls-to-arms by senior jihadists, encouraging the faithful to kill and capture British citizens. The new warning, which all travellers will see when taking advice on their destination says: “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. You should be vigilant at this time”.

This change is the latest move by the British government in response to numerous threats against British servicemen, police officers, and civilians by organisations like ISIS and Al-Qaeda over the past year. In August, the home secretary Theresa May increased the national alertness level to ‘Severe’, the second highest level.

The recently released Autumn issue of Al-Qaeda’s glossy propaganda magazine Resurgence calls upon Mujahideen to target symbols of Western prestige and power around the world, including the British enclave at Gibraltar, which overlooks the strategic straits choke-point. Several British citizens, including recently murdered Alan Henning, and ISIS propagandist John Cantlie have been captured by the Islamic State, and although they were traveling in countries subject to specific travel advice it is a broader threat of kidnap that concerns the FCO.

Despite the blanket warning, the Foreign office will continue to issue local warnings in response to specific threats “in the usual way”. 

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