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National Threat Level raised from substantial to severe as attack is 'highly likely'

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The National Threat Level has been raised from substantial to severe, meaning an attack is 'highly likely'.

Following terrorism incidents in recent weeks, including when a suspected terrorist blew himself up with a bomb outside a Liverpool hospital on Sunday, the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) has taken the decision to raise the National Threat Level.

Threat levels are designed to give a broad indication of the likelihood of a terrorist attack.

PA graphic on UK terror threat levels
PA graphic on UK terror threat levels
  • Low - an attack is unlikely
  • Moderate - an attack is possible, but not likely
  • Substantial - an attack is a strong possibility
  • Severe - an attack is highly likely
  • Critical - an attack is expected imminently

The level is set by JTAC along with the Security Service (MI5). Threat levels don’t have an expiry date and they can change at any time as different information becomes available to security agents.

Deputy chief constable Jason Harwin said: “It is vital that we remain alert and not alarmed as this National Threat Level is raised.

"The recent events that have taken place is a stark reminder that we must not be complacent, we must remain vigilant.

“We encourage the public to continue to report suspicious activity and urge anyone with information to come forward.

"We are monitoring the situation closely and will respond appropriately should any specific threat be identified.”

The UK was last at severe in November 2020 before being lowered to substantial in February 2021.

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