The UK’s terrorism threat level has been reduced from ‘severe’ to ‘substantial’ announced Home Secretary Theresa May this week.
May warned that a substantial threat level means an attack is still a “strong possibility” and could happen “without further warning”. The previous assessment of ‘severe’ meant an attack was “highly possible”.
…the death of Al Qaida’s leader Osama Bin Laden helped aide the judgement of a decrease in the possibility of an attack.
The MI5 and Police now believe an attack similar to those in Mumbai recently have now become less likely in the UK.
Several arrests of terrorist suspects across the country over the past 12 months, and the death of Al Qaida’s leader Osama Bin Laden helped aid the judgement of a decrease in the possibility of an attack.
The threat assessment was last at its highest level of ‘critical’ in June 2007…
The threat level has been at severe since January 2010, when “underpants” bomber Umar Farouk Abdulnutallab failed to bring down an aircraft on its way to Detroit.
The official threat assessment was first made public in 2006, to enable members of the public to become the eyes on the street, and to encourage vigilance. The threat assessment being made public has been criticized however for unjustifiably keeping the public in fear.
The threat assessment was last at its highest level of ‘critical’ in June 2007 following the attack on Glasgow Airport.
Threat levels are decided when taking into consideration the latest intelligence, capability, intent and timescale.
Image courtesy of Kent Police