page contents

UK reduces terror threat level from critical to severe

UK reduces terror threat level from critical to severe

The United Kingdom has reduced its terror threat level from critical to severe; a change that indicates a terror attack is still highly likely, but not imminently expected.

The country’s official terror threat level had been set at critical in the aftermath of a bombing that killed at least 22 people, including seven children, at the Manchester Arena at the end of a concert on Monday night.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Saturday that security officials decided to reduce threat level. “A significant amount of police action has taken place over the last 24 hours and there are now 11 suspects in custody.”

“In the light of the developments, the independent joint terrorism analysis center has this morning taken the decision to reduce the threat level from critical to severe,” she added.

The premier said soldiers, who were patrolling streets, would be withdrawn gradually from Monday.

Hundreds of soldiers have been replaced police at high-profile sites including Buckingham Palace and Parliament. Police officers armed with submachine guns, instead are being deployed in city centers; tourist areas transit hubs, and major events.

Britain’s top counter-terrorism police officer, Mark Rowley, said earlier that authorities had dismantled a “large part” of the network around the 22-year-old bomber Salman Abedi, who died in Monday’s explosion.

Rowley, however, said there were still “gaps in our understanding” of the plot, and that there will be “more arrests and more searches” linked to the Manchester attack.

Investigators were searching several homes, including that of Abedi in south Manchester and other houses in nearby districts on Saturday. They arrested two men, aged 20 and 22, in the northwest England city, by using an explosive device to get into their property.

Police are on high alert as tens of thousands of people are expected to attend major events, including the Football Association Cup Final and the Premiership Rugby Final over the three-day holiday weekend in London.