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8 Feb, 2021 13:14

UK terror threat level drops from ‘severe’ to ‘substantial’, but an attack is ‘still likely’

UK terror threat level drops from ‘severe’ to ‘substantial’, but an attack is ‘still likely’

The British government has said the threat of terrorism in the UK has fallen, with the Home Office reducing the threat level from ‘severe’ to ‘substantial’. It added that the situation would remain under constant review.

“The decision to lower the threat level from severe to substantial is due to the significant reduction in the momentum of attacks in Europe since those seen between September and November 2020,” Home Secretary Priti Patel said in a statement on Monday. 

The home secretary said the authorities are continuing to work tirelessly to neutralise security threats to the UK and will keep the threat level under review. 

“Terrorism remains one of the most direct and immediate risks to our national security. ‘Substantial’ continues to indicate a high level of threat; and an attack on the UK is still likely. The public should continue to remain vigilant and report any concerns to the police,” Patel added. 

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The UK has five terror threat levels, ranging from ‘low’ to ‘critical’. The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC), a collective of counter-terror experts based at MI5, moved the terror threat level up to ‘severe’ from ‘substantial’ in November 2020 following an attack on the Austrian capital, Vienna. ‘Substantial’ is the third highest level on the scale.

The period from November 2019 to November 2020 was the first time in five years the UK’s threat level had been lower than ‘severe’. The highest level, ‘critical’, was last reached in September 2017, following a train bombing at Parsons Green, London.

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