US officials are speaking of a level of terrorist chatter as high as that prior to 11 September 2001. With Embassy closures across the Muslim world, large-scale prison breaks in Iraq, Libya and Pakistan, the threat tempo is rising. Is Al-Qa'ida planning an August surprise?
Now at its third iteration, the UK's National Risk Register has been praised internationally for giving an official stock take of threats and hazards facing the country. However, a more proactive Register would help to enlarge the focus from emergency preparedness and response towards more prevention and vulnerability reduction.
It is unlikely that the forthcoming presidential election in Afghanistan will have an immediate impact on the ground. However the political direction of Afghanistan and the determination of NATO to maintain stability will be of crucial significance for the long-term security of South Asia and the rivalry between India and Pakistan.
The threat level to the UK from international terrorism has been reduced from ‘severe’ to ‘substantial’: the lowest it has been for more than four years. The move suggests there is cautious confidence within the security agencies.