Britain lowers international terror threat level

11th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain on Monday lowered the international terror threat level to the country from severe to substantial, but an attack remains a strong possibility, Home Secretary Theresa May said.

The threat level was raised to severe, the second highest notch on a five-level grading which means an attack is "highly likely", in January 2010.

Substantial, the third level, means an attack is judged to be a "strong possibility."

"Today the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre changed the UK threat level from international terrorism from severe to substantial," said May in a statement, without explaining the reasons for the change.

"The change in the threat level to substantial does not mean the overall threat has gone away -- there remains a real and serious threat against the United Kingdom and I would ask the public to remain vigilant."

The analysis centre takes its decisions based on the latest intelligence and works independently of government, said May.

Britain began publishing the international terror threat level about a year after Al-Qaeda-inspired bombings on London's transport system in July 2005 killed 52 people.

The top level, critical, means an attack is "expected imminently".

© 2011 AFP

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