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Threat level lowered to 'Severe'

13 August 2006

The nation's threat level has been reduced, but the public should remain vigilant.

This morning at 00.01 August 14th the Joint Terrorism and Analysis Centre (JTAC) has changed the UK's threat level from international terrorism from Critical to Severe.  This means that a terrorist attack is still highly likely.  But the intelligence assessment suggests that an attack is no longer imminent.

This decision has been made by JTAC based on the very latest intelligence.  JTAC, which operates independently of Ministers, brings together all the security and intelligence agencies in order to produce a joint assessment of the threat from international terrorism.

This change is being publicly announced in line with the Government's policy, announced to Parliament in July, that came into operation on 1st August.

Home Secretary's statement

The Home Secretary, John Reid Said, 'I want to explain as fully as I can why the change has been made.

'Last Thursday, the threat level was raised to Critical.  As I said then, this was a precautionary measure - based on an assessment of the possibility of terrorist activity in the immediate aftermath of the action taken by the police.

'There has now been time to assess the intelligence picture following the police operation.  The police believe that the main suspects in the alleged plot were arrested last week. 

'Threat level assessments are intelligence-led.  It is not a process where scientific precision is possible. They involve judgments.

'The public needs to know that there may be other people out there who may be planning an attack against the UK.  That is why there are a number of other Security Service operations underway.

'I want to stress, therefore, that the change in the threat level does not mean that the threat has gone away. 

'There is still a very serious threat of an attack.  The threat level is at Severe, indicating the high likelihood of an attempted terrorist attack at some stage, and I urge the public to remain vigilant.

'The Secretary of State for Transport has been  constantly reviewing the security regime at airports and in light of this change in threat level will be making a statement shortly. Those planning to fly from UK airports later today should monitor the DfT website and prepare to check with their carrier.'


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