Downing Street has confirmed that the UK’s terror threat has increased to the second-highest level available, “severe”, after an incident in Liverpool.
An explosive device was detonated outside Liverpool’s Women Hospital two minutes before the 11am silence on Remembrance Sunday in a taxi.
Assessments of threat levels are taken by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) which is part of MI5.
It makes it recommendations independently from the government.
The five levels of threat are:
- Low – an attack is highly unlikely
- Moderate – an attack is possible but not likely
- Substantial – an attack is likely
- Severe – an attack is highly likely
- Critical – an attack is highly likely in the near future
JTAC is based at MI5’s headquarters in London and is made up of counter-terror experts from the police, government and security agencies.
It says the threat level decisions take into account a number of factors including:
- Available intelligence – sometimes “specific threat information” but often relying on a wide range of information
- Terrorist capability, irrespective of ideology – including analysis of the potential scale of an attack
- Timescale – the likelihood of an attack in the near term