- The Washington Times - Friday, August 29, 2014

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said there was no imminent threat against the U.S., despite Britain’s decision to raise their terrorism alert level Friday.

“At present, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI are unaware of any specific, credible threat to the U.S. homeland from ISIL,” Mr. Johnson said in a press release. “Plainly, however, violent extremists who support ISIL have demonstrated the intent and capability to target American citizens overseas, and ISIL constitutes an active and serious threat within the region.”

The U.K. chose to raise its alert level to “severe.” Experts speculated the main concern was British citizens who are going and joining the Islamic State, often known as ISIS or ISIL. Western officials have warned that the extremists could return to their own nations and conduct terrorist attacks.

Mr. Johnson said he spoke Friday with his British counterpart, U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May.

The U.S. has taken action to safeguard its citizens, Mr. Johnson said.

“The Department of Homeland Security over the past several weeks has taken a number of steps to enhance aviation security at overseas airports with direct flights to the United States, and the United Kingdom and other nations have followed with similar enhancements,” he said.

The U.S. and allied nations are also tracking foreign fighters traveling in and out of Syria, and contemplating additional security measures, the secretary said, adding that “some of the security measures will be visible to the public and some understandably will be unseen.”

• Phillip Swarts can be reached at pswarts@washingtontimes.com.

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