England labels bioterror a Tier 2 threat

As part of a new National Security Strategy issued this week by England's Prime Minister David Cameron, a biological, chemical, radiological or nuclear attack on England has been declared a Tier 2 threat.

Also listed as Tier 2 threats, TodayOnline.com reports, are civil war overseas and a rise of organized crime. Tier 3 threats include a conventional military attack on Britain, border infiltration by illegal immigrants and disruption to oil or gas supplies.

"We face no major state threat at present and no existential threat to our security, freedom or prosperity," the report says, according to TodayOnline.com. "But we cannot be complacent...Our national security strategy needs to position us for the future as well as the present."

The report lists cyber warfare and terrorism as the two most serious, or Tier 1, threats facing the country. The two other major threats in Tier 1 are international military conflicts that draw in Britain or its allies and a major accident or natural hazard, such as a pandemic disease outbreak.

The announcement of threats facing Britain is a precursor to the publication of the Strategic Defense and Security Review, which will be released this Tuesday. That review will examine how Britain can prepare itself for such attacks.

Many critics, TodayOnline.com reports, have called the review rushed and claim that it appears to be aimed more at reducing a record budget deficit than at meeting future threats.