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UK terror threat level to be raised to ‘severe’, attack is ‘highly likely’

The terror threat level in the UK has been raised from “substantial” to “severe”, meaning that an attack is now judged to be “highly likely”

The move to increase the UK’s terror threat level to “severe” comes after Monday night’s attack in the Austrian capital of Vienna, in which four people were killed killed by a gunman.

Last week, three people were killed after a knife attack in Nice, France, while school teacher Samuel Paty was murdered in the French capital of Paris last month.

This comes after Two men and two women have sadly died following a terror attack in Vienna and 15 others have reportedly been seriously injured as a result of the attack, including a police officer. Seven of the victims are currently in a life-threatening condition, the news agency APA have reported.

Home Secretary Priti Patel described the action as a “precautionary measure following the terrible incidents we’ve seen in France last week and the events we saw in Austria last night”.

“The British public should be alert but not alarmed,” Ms Patel said, as she confirmed there would now be “more visible policing across the country”.

She added:

UK terror threat level to be raised to 'severe', attack is 'highly likely'
Home Secretary Priti Patel

“That is right in light of the threat going up, but as I’ve said, the public should not be alarmed – this is a precautionary measure.”

The home secretary urged the public to report anything of concern to police.

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The five terror threat levels are:

Low – an attack is highly unlikely

Moderate – an attack is possible, but not likely

Substantial – an attack is likely

Severe – an attack is highly likely

Critical – an attack is highly likely in the near future

The UK’s terrorism threat level was raised to the highest rating, “critical”, in the days following the Manchester Arena bombing in May 2017.

It last reached that level again briefly in September that year, after a bomb partially exploded on a Tube train at Parsons Green.

This comes after French police say that a woman has been decapitated in a suspected terror attack in Nice, France. Three people have reportedly died with several others having been injured after a knife attack took place near the Notre Dame church.

The threat level remained at the second highest rating, “severe”, until last November when it was downgraded to “substantial”, where it has stayed until now.

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said given events in Austria and France, it would have been “remiss” of the government not to raise the threat level.

He said the JTAC, which brings together analysts from across transport, health, intelligence and the military, were constantly analysing the ongoing threat to UK citizens anywhere in the world, and will have looked at what has happened in Vienna and at all the postings from al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, encouraging people to carry out attacks.

“There’s a lot of anger at the moment in many parts of Muslim communities over the cartoons [of the Prophet Muhammad] and that’s being exploited by extremists who are encouraging people to carry out attacks, hence the raising to severe.”

Eve Cooper
Eve Cooper
I've been writing articles and stories for as long as I can remember and in the past few years I've had the fortune of turning that love & passion for writing into my job :)

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