A new system to quantify terror threat levels has come into effect that aims to encompass all forms of terrorism.
The changes to the terror threat levels have come after a review process into counter-terrorism following attacks in 2017. The new system will reflect the threat from all forms of terrorism, irrespective of ideology.
There will now be a single national threat level describing the threat to the UK. The threat from Northern Ireland-related terrorism in Northern Ireland will remain separate.
Sajid Javid, Home Secretary, 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.”
The previous system referred to international terrorism, which became synonymous with Islamic extremist terror attacks. The new system aims to reflect the fact that Islamic extremism can be homegrown, as well as the growing number of far-right attacks.
The new levels and definitions are:
- 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 Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) changed the definition following the MI5 Operational Improvement Review. The JTAC workes independently from the government and will continue to publish threat levels on the government and MI5 website.
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