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UK Terror Threat Level Reduced From 'Severe' To 'Substantial'

Home Secretary Priti Patel called on the public to remain "vigilant", warning an attack on the UK remained "likely".

London skyline at sunrise

The UK’s terrorism threat level has been reduced from 'severe' to 'substantial' due to a significant reduction in the momentum of attacks in Europe.

Home Secretary Priti Patel told MPs the lowered threat level still meant an attack on the UK remained "likely" and the public should remain vigilant.

The threat level was raised to severe by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) in November following attacks in Austria and France.

On 4 February the expert analysts reduced the level, Ms Patel told MPs on Monday.

"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," the Home Secretary said.

"However, the UK national threat level is kept under constant review and is subject to change at any time.

"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."

Home Secretary Priti Patel during a foot patrol with new police recruits around Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire 280121 CREDIT PA
Ms Patel said the lowered threat level still meant an attack on the UK remained "likely" (Picture: PA).

The threat level is set by the JTAC and the Security Service, which is based at MI5.

There are five levels of threat:

  • Low: meaning an attack is highly unlikely;
  • Moderate: meaning an attack is possible, but not likely;
  • Substantial: meaning an attack is likely;
  • Severe: meaning an attack is highly likely;
  • Critical: meaning an attack is highly likely in the near future.

Threat levels do not have an expiry date and can change at any time.

Cover image: London skyline (Picture: PA).

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