LONDON – Britain raised its terrorist threat to “serious” on Tuesday after recent attacks in Austria and France, the second highest.
The magnitude of the threat means that an attack in the UK is considered very likely. The level was previously set to “Major”, which means that an attack is considered likely.
The decision was announced by Interior Minister Priti Patel came after a man who had previously tried to join the Islamic state group stormed through the center of the Austrian capital of Vienna with an automatic rifle Monday evening, killing four people before police shot and killed him.
“We have already taken significant steps to change our powers and strengthen the tools to deal with the evolving terrorist threats,” Patel said in a statement. “This process is ongoing and there should be no doubt in the UK public that we will.” Take the best possible measures to protect our national security. “
Patel said the heightened security alert was “a precautionary measure and not based on a specific threat”.
The British Government’s Joint Terrorism Analysis Center, which was set up in June 2003, sets the terror level.
The center evaluates information on international terrorism at home and abroad, sets threat levels and warns of threats and other terrorist information.
UK Counter Terrorism Police Chief Deputy Commissioner Neil Basu said that while there is no intelligence link between the European attacks and the UK, the Counter Terrorism Police “will of course do whatever we can” to help.
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He urged the public to be vigilant and said people could expect additional police officers in some places in the coming days.
“Now more than ever, we need communities that stand together and reject those who want to sow division and hatred between us,” he said.
“We need communities and families to make us aware that anyone they consider vulnerable is a danger or escalating towards terrorism.”