UK threat level raised to critical after Manchester Arena attack
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that the threat level to the UK has been raised from severe to critical.
The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) concluded that the threat level should be increased following the terrorist attack in Manchester earlier this week.
The JTAC was keeping the threat level under constant review and found that an attack remains highly likely and a further attack may be imminent.
The increase in threat level means that British police will be provided with additional resources and support.
May said: “As a result of the JTAC’s decision, the police have asked for authorisation from the Secretary of State for Defence to deploy a number of armed military personnel in support of their armed officers.
“This request is part of a well-established plan, known as Operation Temperer, in which both the armed forces and the police officers involved are well-trained and well-prepared to work in this kind of environment. The Secretary of State for Defence has approved this request, and Operation Temperer is now in force.”
The armed police officers, who are currently responsible for duties such as guarding key sites, will be replaced by members of the armed forces, which will allow the police to significantly increase the number of armed officers on patrol in key locations.
Military personnel might also be deployed at certain events, such as concerts and sports matches, helping the police to keep the public safe.
The Greater Manchester Police identified the suicide bomber, who attacked Manchester Arena on Monday night, as 22-year-old Salman Ramadan Abedi.
The terrorist detonated his improvised explosive device near one of the exits of the venue, May stated.
The suicide bomb blast killed 22 people and injured 59 others, many of whom have life-threatening conditions.
Image: UK Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: courtesy of UK Government.