The British government has confirmed that the nation’s terror threat has been increased from ‘substantial’ to ‘severe’, following a string of violent Islamist incidents in France and the Islamist terror attack in Vienna, Austria, on Monday.
Home Secretary Priti Patel confirmed that the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (Jtac), an independent body which is part of MI5, changed the UK terror threat level on Tuesday. This means that a terror attack is considered “highly likely” rather than “likely”.
Ms Patel said: “This is a precautionary measure and is not based on any specific threat. The public should continue to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police.”
Vienna Gunman Was ISIS Sympathiser, Convicted Terrorist Released Early from Prison https://t.co/0rHNBQGxz7
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The change comes after the Islamist murder of French teacher Samuel Paty and a series of violent incidents including a terror attack in Nice with three people being slain on the grounds of the basilica, the foiling of a potential copycat attack outside of Paris, and the shooting of a Greek Orthodox priest in Lyon. While on Monday, one Islamic State supporter was shot dead by police after killing four and injuring 17 more in a shooting, with authorities seeking potential accomplices.
The Guardian reported intelligence agencies had said that Britons should be “particularly vigilant” following the Vienna attack, as the UK goes into lockdown on Thursday. Sources told the newspaper that it is still unclear if the Islamist attack was planned to coincide with the last night before Austria’s lockdown. Vienna’s streets were particularly busy on Monday as people took advantage of their last night of socialising.