The British government has raised the terror threat level today from SUBSTANTIAL to SEVERE, indicating the increased likelihood of an attack on British soil.
Home Secretary Teresa May announced the raising of the terror threat on television on Friday afternoon. The move is believed to be in response to Iraq and Syria related terror threats, specifically with regard to returning ISIS fighters. Prime Minister David Cameron is due to make a speech soon.
The terror threat level is controlled by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) and the Security Service (MI5), and is independent of political intervention. Previously, Britain’s threat level remained at SUBSTANTIAL since 2011, meaning that an attack was a strong possibility. The move to SEVERE indicates that an “an attack is highly likely”.
The last time the UK terror threat was raised to SEVERE was in January 2010, where it remained without incident until mid-2011.
The next step on the scale, CRITICAL, is the highest available, which means that “an attack is expected imminently”.