Why UK Officials Believe Terrorism Threat in Britain Is Greater Than Ever Before

British Home Secretary Theresa May delivered a stark message today.

"When the security and intelligence agencies tell us that the threat we face is now more dangerous than at any time before or since 9/11, we should take notice," May said today during a news conference in which she was laying out plans on the government's new counter-terrorism and security bill set to be introduced this week.

The new bill, introduced last week and touted as being tough, will be brought forward in order to try to stamp out home-grown extremism. It includes a set of new measures to prevent radicalization, making conditions difficult for extremists to operate, giving the government greater power to disrupt those wanting to travel abroad to countries such as Iraq and Syria to fight.

Since the attacks on July 7, 2005, about 40 terrorists plots against British targets have been disrupted by the police and intelligence services, May said.

The U.K.'s threat level was raised in August due to the threats from fighters returning from the conflicts in Iraq and Syria. The threat level was raised from "substantial" to "severe," meaning an attack on home soil is highly likely.

The message from May today was clear: The country is engaged in a struggle that is being fought on many fronts and one that will go on for many years. She ended her speech on a sober note, saying, "The threat we face right now is perhaps greater than it ever has been -- we must have the powers we need to defend ourselves."