UK reduces terror threat level to ‘severe’

Theresa May
Theresa May, File Photo

London, May 28 : Britain’s terror threat level has been reduced to “severe” from “critical” which was issued following the Manchester arena terror attack, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said after meeting with security chiefs.

“The public should be clear about what this means. A threat level of ‘severe’ means an attack is highly likely — the country should remain vigilant,” CNN quoted May as saying on Saturday night.

The decision to lower the threat rating from its highest level was made by the country’s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre in light of the arrests made in the Manchester attack investigation, May said.

So far, 13 people have been arrested in the investigation, with 11 still in custody.

The level had been raised to “critical” after Monday’s deadly bombing that targeted crowds at the Ariana Grande show on May 22 killing 22 people mostly children and teenagers.

Investigators are continuing efforts to try to contain the network they believe is behind the suicide attack by Salman Abedi, 22, a British national of Libyan descent.

Investigators have identified the location where they believe the Manchester Arena explosive device was assembled, according to a statement from Greater Manchester Police late Saturday.

Police also released two still images of Abedi, taken from CCTV, on Monday evening, the night of the attack, reports CNN.

Armed police are patrolling events in Manchester, London and elsewhere this weekend as Britain marks the spring bank holiday, the Prime Minister said.

But the deployment of soldiers on the streets in support of police will be phased out starting May 29, she added.

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: “The change in the national threat level from ‘critical’ to ‘severe’ does not alter our response to Monday’s horrific attack, which claimed so many innocent lives.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said enhanced security plans would remain in place in the capital this weekend despite the downgrading of the national threat level.


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