Posted: Tue 23rd May 2017

Manchester Attack: UK Terror Threat Raised to Highest Level

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The threat level for the UK from international terrorism has been set to CRITICAL by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) meaning an attack is expected imminently.

The move, announced by PM Theresa May last night, is in response to Monday’s terror attack in which a suicide bomber detonated an improvised explosive device packed with nails and bolts in the foyer area of the Manchester Arena.


North Wales Police say they have reviewed contingency plans overnight and will be increasing high visibility patrols.


At least 22 people including children were killed in the attack, many more were injured 12 of those were reported to be under the age of 16.

The Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement on Tuesday evening:

The work undertaken throughout the day has revealed that it is a possibility we cannot ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack.

This morning, I said that the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre – the independent organisation responsible for setting the threat level on the basis of the intelligence available – was keeping the threat level under constant review. It has now concluded, on the basis of today’s investigations, that the threat level should be increased, for the time being, from SEVERE to CRITICAL.

This means that their assessment is not only that an attack remains highly likely, but that a further attack may be imminent.

Theresa May also said the Army will be deployed on UK streets as part of ‘Operation Temperer’ soldiers will be deployed alongside armed police officers to provide protective security at key targets such as transport hubs. – Read full statement here.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, Head of National Counter-Terrorism Policing said;

The investigation into the terrorist attack in Manchester is large scale, fast moving and making good progress. There has been an arrest and there are currently multiple searches and other activity taking place as I speak.

However, at this stage it is still not possible to be certain if there was a wider group involved in the attack; 24 hours in we have a number of investigative leads that we are pursuing to manage the ongoing threat.

This concern has led to the independent Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre to raise the threat level to “critical” this evening. It means that their assessment is not only that an attack remains highly likely but a further attack may be imminent.

The public would expect the police to do everything possible to prevent further attacks and keep them safe. We are flexing our resources to increase police presence at key sites, such as transport and other crowded places and we are reviewing key events over the coming weeks.

As the Prime Minister has already said this evening I have asked for support from the military to be deployed alongside the police. This will free up armed officers from certain guarding duties to release our officers to support the wider the response.

This is part of an agreed and well -rehearsed plan and military personnel will remain under the command and control of the police service.

At this time we are asking the public to remain calm but alert. If you see anything that causes you concern, then let us know immediately, if you have suspicions about someone’s behaviour call us.

Look out for anything that seems out of place, unusual or doesn’t seem to fit in with day-to-day life. It may be nothing but if you see or hear anything that could be terrorist related trust your instinct no matter how small then ACT and call 999.

How are threat levels decided?

The threat level for the UK from international terrorism is set by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC).

MI5 is responsible for setting the threat levels from Irish and other domestic terrorism both in Northern Ireland and in Great Britain.

In reaching a judgement on the appropriate threat level in any given circumstance several factors need to be taken into account.

These include:

  • Available intelligence. It is rare that specific threat information is available and can be relied upon. More often, judgements about the threat will be based on a wide range of information, which is often fragmentary, including the level and nature of current terrorist activity, comparison with events in other countries and previous attacks. Intelligence is only ever likely to reveal part of the picture.
  • Terrorist capability. An examination of what is known about the capabilities of the terrorists in question and the method they may use based on previous attacks or from intelligence. This would also analyse the potential scale of the attack.
  • Terrorist intentions. Using intelligence and publicly available information to examine the overall aims of the terrorists and the ways they may achieve them including what sort of targets they would consider attacking.
  • Timescale. The threat level expresses the likelihood of an attack in the near term. We know from past incidents that some attacks take years to plan, while others are put together more quickly. In the absence of specific intelligence, a judgement will need to be made about how close an attack might be to fruition. Threat levels do not have any set expiry date, but are regularly subject to review in order to ensure that they remain current.

The attacker has been identified by officials as UK-born 22-year-old Salman Abedi, who was known “up to a point” by the security services.

He was born in Manchester in 1994 to a Libyan family who settled in south Manchester.

He grew up in the Whalley Range area of the city and lived in Fallowfield.

In 2014 Abedi became a student at the University of Salford, where he studied business management before dropping out.

His parents, both born in Tripoli, returned to Libya in 2011 following Muammar Gaddafi’s removal from power.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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