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Terrorism

Britain’s terror threat level lowered a notch to ‘substantial’

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Britain’s official threat level for international terrorism was lowered Wednesday to “substantial,” meaning an attack is likely.

It previously stood at “severe,” signaling that UK intelligence officials considered an attack highly likely.

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Home Secretary Priti Patel said that “any reduction in the threat level is positive but it must never make us complacent.”

She said the threat from terrorism in the UK was “complex, volatile, and unpredictable.”

The threat level was raised to severe, the second-highest rung on a five-point scale, in November after an Iraq-born man blew himself up with a homemade bomb outside a hospital in Liverpool.

The suspected bombmaker, Emad al-Swealmeen, died when the device went off inside a taxi. The driver was injured.

The previous month, Conservative lawmaker David Amess was stabbed to death while meeting constituents in what police said was an act of terrorism.

Britain has experienced attacks by both “Islamic” and far-right extremists over the years, including a May 2017 suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester that killed 22 people.

The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre sets the threat level based on intelligence about international terrorism at home and overseas. It has been at severe most of the time since 2014, briefly rising to “critical” amid a spate of violent attacks in 2017.

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