“Yes, Virginia, there is a terrorism threat.”
Whether on the "left" or "right", the British media love a good terrorism plot. The timing of this one, in the notoriously slow period just before Christmas made it even more enthralling --- the same way that the Pakistani student bomb plot during the Easter break of 2009 similarly grabbed the headlines before turning out, for various reasons, to be a damp squib.
So for the last few days we have been treated to repeated stories about the arrest of 12 men for an alleged bomb plot. Note the word “alleged” in the previous sentence, for it is one that does not often appear in the assured British media when it comes to reporting terrorism. In the current example, the news has gone beyond noting g the arrests of the men to listing their alleged targets: from Big Ben to Westminster Abbey to the London Stock Exchange to the American Embassy, from celebrities to pubs and restaurants.