The national terror threat level in the UK has been raised from ‘substantial’ to ‘severe’ in the wake of the Liverpool bombing.
This is the second highest threat level category next to ‘critical’, and means an attack is now considered ‘highly likely’.
The UK threat level is determined by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC), and takes into account factors such as available intelligence, terrorist capability and terrorist intentions.
After attending a Cobra meeting chaired by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Priti Patel told Sky News: ‘First of all, the incident has been declared as a terrorist incident, the police have now declared that.
‘But, secondly, the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre – JTAC – are now increasing the United Kingdom’s threat level from substantial to severe. And there is a reason for that, and that reason is because what we saw yesterday is the second incident in a month,’ she said.
Now, of course that means we continue to work with our world class security, intelligence and policing services – representatives from those agencies.
There is a live investigation taking place right now, they will need the time, the space, to do the work that they are doing in terms of investigating the incident.
But of course, we as a government, I as home secretary, continue to work with everyone when it comes to the security of our country and making sure that we are taking all the necessary steps required.
The last time the threat level was raised to ‘severe’ was in November 2020, following terrorist attacks in Vienna, Nice, and Paris. This was downgraded to ‘substantial’ in February.
Although the two incidents are not connected, sources reportedly say fears have been raised about potential terrorist attacks being plotted now that the UK has come out of lockdown.
The Telegraph has also disclosed that the bomber originated from the Middle East, and had not been known to the security services at the time of the attack. The motivation behind the bombing is currently unclear at the time of writing, as is the intended target.
The unidentified suspect was declared dead at the scene. Taxi driver David Perry was treated in hospital for non life-threatening injuries and is now recovering at home.
In connection with this incident, Merseyside officers have arrested three men, aged 29, 26 and 21, in the Kensington area of Liverpool under the Terrorism Act.
Counter Terrorism Police North West is now understood to be working closely alongside Merseyside Police as the investigation into the matter continues.
Members of the public should always remain alert to the danger of terrorism and report any suspicious activity to the police on 999 or the anti-terrorist hotline: 0800 789 321. If your information does not relate to an imminent threat, you can also contact MI5.
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