UK Terrorism Threat Raised To 'Severe'
The terrorism threat in the UK has been raised to 'severe' following the attack in Vienna and a series of violent incidents in France.
The country's Secretary of State, Priti Patel, described the move as a 'precautionary measure' and said it was 'not based on any specific threat'.
Assessments were done and a decision has been made by the independent Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) which is part of MI5.
The threat level has been upgraded from 'substantial' meaning a potential attack is 'likely' to 'severe' meaning an attack is 'highly likely'. The highest level (one up from severe) is 'critical' which means an attack is 'highly likely in the near future'.
Speaking at a press conference today, Patel said: "The British public should be alert but not alarmed, this is a precautionary measure following the terrible incidences that we've seen in France last week and the events we saw in Austria last night."
The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre has changed the UK terror threat level from substantial to severe.- Priti Patel (@pritipatel) November 3, 2020
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. pic.twitter.com/XJa0gXetee
She went on: "The first and most important duty of the government is obviously to protect the British public and we are doing that and will continue to do that through the measures and the tools that we put in place in terms of dealing with terrorism and terrorist activity.
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"At this particular stage though, if the public have any concerns I would ask them to report anything of concern that they may have to the police but as I've said, this is a precautionary measure in light of recent events that we have seen."
The level was increased following the shooting in Vienna last night (2 November) whereby gunmen opened fire at six different locations in the Austrian city.
Following on from the incident, a manhunt is now underway with Austrian authorities searching for at least one suspect.
Gunmen opened fire in Vienna's city centre, killing four people and injuring 17 others. Some of those injured have been wounded seriously.
Officials said one of the attackers had been shot dead by police, with Interior Minister Karl Nehammer describing the deceased gunman as an 'Islamist terrorist'.
In a news conference, Nehammer said at least one 'heavily armed and dangerous' attacker is believed to still be at large, urging people to avoid central Vienna and telling parents to keep children at home on Tuesday if they were able to.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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