Britain raises terror threat level, will begin revoking passports of those who travel to Syria
By RYAN GORMAN
British Prime Minister David Cameron announced Friday during a pointed press conference that U.K. authorities will soon begin revoking the passports of citizens traveling to Syria.
The move is part of a series of new security measures being taken by the country after raising the terror threat level to "severe" as Cameron admitted the fight to end Islamist extremism may take decades, or even generations.
"We are in the middle of a generational struggle against a poisonous & extremist ideology," Cameron declared.
British authorities raised the terror threat level Friday to one below "critical," the highest alert, because it is felt an attack is likely, according to Cameron.
"What we're facing in Iraq and Syria now with ISIL is a deeper and greater threat to our security than we have ever known before," Cameron said.
Steps being taken to combat the perceived threat include travel restrictions placed against British nationals and foreign national residents of the U.K. traveling to Syria and foreigners who have traveled to Syria trying to enter the Archipelago.
Cameron said British authorities will revoke the passports of British nationals returning from Syria who are believed to have trained in terror camps in preparation for a domestic terror attack.
Foreign nationals who have traveled to Syria will be barred from entering the U.K., he added.
Additional security will likely be seen on the streets of major cities, Cameron admitted, but additional measures are also being taken behind the scenes by counterterrorism and intelligence officials to sniff out any possible attack.
The prime minister repeatedly cited the "poisonous Islamist ideology," not the Muslim religion, as the threat to Western civilization.
"Islam is a religion observed peacefully by over a billion people," said Cameron. "Islamist extremism is a poisonous ideology observed by a minority."
Cameron also revealed fears of the caliphate realizing its ambitions of overtaking Jordan and reaching the Mediterranean Sea.
[ISIL is] a terror threat seeking to establish and then violently expand its own terror state," he explained. "We could face a terrorist state on the shores of the Mediterranean and bordering a NATO state."
Cameron took pains to emphasize there are no plans to put British boots on the ground, but emphasized the nations role in providing intelligence to the U.S. while the superpower conducts airstrikes in the region.
Britain has "taken the lead" in humanitarian air drops and even helped to arm Kurdish forces in their fight against the terror state, said Cameron.
"We support the U.S. airstrikes aginst ISIL in Iraq."
Cameron did admit, though, that simply defeating the growing threat posed by the caliphate will not end terrorism.
"Even if you solve the problems, of ISIL, Iraq and Syria – you still have the problem of poisonous Islamist extremism."
The last time Britain raised the terror threat to its current level was September 2010.
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