Terrorism threat level system updated

The threats from extreme right and left-wing terrorism will from this week be reflected in the government’s official terrorism threat level. The changes, which follow a Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre review into the country’s approach to counter-terrorism following the 2017 attacks, mean the system reflects the threat posed by all forms of terrorism, irrespective of ideology.

Until today, the threat level system described the threat from ‘international terrorism’, which has become largely synonymous with Islamist terrorism. The review considered this system to be outdated as Islamist terrorism can be home grown, just as extreme right-wing terrorism can have an international dimension.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Our approach to stopping terrorists is the same, regardless of the twisted ideology that motivates them.

“While the Islamist threat remains, we have recently seen an increase in terrorist activity motivated by the extreme right wing. It is therefore important the public is properly informed about the threats we face, which is why we are making these changes.”

Additionally, from today, the definitions of some of the threat levels will be updated to ensure they are clear and consistent.

The definitions of the 'low', 'substantial' and 'critical' levels have changed. The new definitions are now:

Critical – an attack is highly likely in the near future
Severe – an attack is highly likely
Substantial – an attack is likely
Moderate – an attack is possible but not likely
Low – an attack is highly unlikely

The current threat level has not changed from ‘severe’.

The threat from Northern Ireland-related terrorism in Northern Ireland will remain separate.

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