UK terror threat level downgraded from severe to substantial

Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre changes threat status to its lowest level since 2014

The UK national terrorism threat level has been downgraded from severe to substantial for the first time in five years, the home secretary has said, although this means a terrorist attack is still likely.

Priti Patel announced the decision by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (Jtac) in a statement to parliament.

The substantial threat level continues to indicate a high level of threat and an attack might well occur without further warning, she said.

Changes to the threat level system came into effect in July, meaning the assessment now reflects the threat posed by all forms of terrorism, irrespective of ideology and covers extreme right and leftwing terrorism.

This is a systematic, comprehensive and rigorous process, based on the very latest intelligence and analysis of internal and external factors which drive the threat, Patel said. Despite the change in the threat level, terrorism remains one of the most direct and immediate risks to our national security.

The threat level under the previous system was raised from substantial to severe in August 2014 against a backdrop of increasing terrorist activity in Syria and Iraq, including the growth of Islamic State. A severe threat level means an attack is highly likely.

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