Britain’s terror threat level lowered for first time in five years

Britain’s terror threat level lowered for first time in five years

Counter terrorism officers after the London Bridge attack in 2017 (Picture: PA) Britain has lowered its national terrorism threat level from ‘seve

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LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 04: Counter terrorism officers march near the scene of last night's London Bridge terrorist attack on June 4, 2017 in London, England. Police continue to cordon off an area after responding to terrorist attacks on London Bridge and Borough Market where 6 people were killed and at least 48 injured last night. Three attackers were shot dead by armed police. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Counter terrorism officers after the London Bridge attack in 2017 (Picture: PA)

Britain has lowered its national terrorism threat level from ‘severe’ to ‘substantial’.

It is the first time the threat level has been downgraded in five years and means it is now at its lowest since August 2014.

‘Substantial’ is the third of five ratings at which the threat level can stand.

Home secretary Priti Patel said it means an attack is now ‘likely’ rather than ‘highly likely’.

She added: ‘Despite the change in the threat level, terrorism remains one of the most direct and immediate risks to our national security.’

The ‘substantial’ threat level ‘continues to indicate a high level of threat and an attack might well occur without further warning’, Ms Patel said.

She added: ‘As ever, the public should remain vigilant and report any concerns they may have to the police.

‘Government, police and intelligence agencies will continue to work tirelessly to address the threat posed by terrorism in all its forms.

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‘The threat level is kept under constant review.’

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22: Priti Patel, Secretary of State for the Home Department, leaves Downing Street on October 22, 2019 in London, England. Prime Minister Boris Johnson published his Withdrawal Agreement Bill last night and will today attempt to keep to his Brexit schedule as he aims to push a series of votes through Parliament. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Home secretary Priti Patel said it means an attack is now ‘likely’ rather than ‘highly likely’ (Picture: Getty)

The decision was announced in a written ministerial statement to Parliament today.

The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) – part of MI5 – makes the decision on the threat level independently of Government ministers, after weighing up intelligence and known terrorist groups.

A review is carried out every six months.

The level was raised to ‘critical’ in May 2017 after the Manchester Arena bombing and later downgraded to ‘severe’, where it has remained since September 2017.

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