The United Kingdom has taken the move to increase its terrorism to “severe,” local media reported on Tuesday.
In layman’s terms, this shift up means that security chiefs believe an attack is highly likely, but have no specific intelligence on an incident. The level had previously been at substantial, meaning “an attack is likely”.
The change is should be seen as a “precautionary measure following the terrible incidents we’ve seen in France last week and the events we saw in Austria last night,” said Home Secretary Priti Patel.
“The British public should be alert but not alarmed,” Patel said, calling on the public “to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to the police.”
This change falls short of “critical” which would mean an attack is highly likely in the near future, according to the assessment by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC).
The threat level in Belgium remains at two of four, the Coordinating Body for Threat Analysis (Ocam) said Tuesday, in the aftermath of deadly attacks in downtown Vienna. This “medium” level means that a threat is not considered likely. A similar statement was made after the knife attack in the French city of Nice.
“There is no reason to revise the threat level because there is no concrete evidence to that effect. On the basis of the information currently available to the Ocam, level two is therefore maintained”. The body continues to monitor the situation closely.