UK’s official terror threat level lowered to ‘substantial’

FILE – In this file photo dated Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, Backdropped by national flags Britain’s Home Secretary Priti Patel speaks about the COVID-19 pandemic in Downing Street, London. The U.K. government said Monday Feb. 8, 2021, that Britain’s official terrorism threat level has been lowered, to reflect the decreased threat of attacks in Europe. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, pool)

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s official terrorism threat level has been lowered from “severe” to “substantial” because the tempo of attacks in Europe has lessened.

The U.K. government said Monday that the Joint Terrorism Analysis Center had lowered the level to the middle rung of its five-point scale, meaning an attack in Britain is likely. In November, the threat level was raised to severe, meaning an attack is highly likely, after deadly attacks in Austria and France.

“The decision to lower the threat level from severe to substantial is due to the significant reduction in the momentum of attacks in Europe since those seen between September and November 2020,” Home Secretary Priti Patel said.

She said that despite the lowered level, “terrorism remains one of the most direct and immediate risks to our national security.”

The center, which was established in 2003, sets the threat level based on intelligence about international terrorism at home and overseas.

The U.K. level has been at severe most of the time since 2014, briefly rising to “critical” amid violent attacks in 2017.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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