It means the chance of an attack occurring is now “likely” rather than “highly likely”.
Announcing the move in a written ministerial statement, the home secretary said:
“The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) has reduced the UK national terrorism threat level from severe to substantial. This means that a terrorist attack in the UK is likely.
“JTAC previously raised the UK national threat level from substantial to severe following two terrorist attacks in the UK in quick succession, in October and November 2021. “When the threat level is at severe it means an attack is highly likely.
“JTAC judges that, despite these two attacks, the current nature and scale of the UK terrorist threat is consistent with the level of threat seen prior to the attacks.”
Threat levels are intended to give a clear indication of the possibility of a terrorist attack.
JTAC consist of 16 government departments and agencies and brings together counter-terror experts from the police, government and security agencies.
The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) responsible for deciding at which level the UK should sit.
The five threat levels are:
• Low – an attack is highly unlikely
• Moderate – an attack is possible, but not likely
• Substantial – an attack is likely – this is the UK’s current level
• Severe – an attack is highly likely
• Critical – an attack is highly likely in the near future
Despite the downgrading of the UK’s national terror threat level, Ms Patel warned people not to be “complacent”.
“JTAC keep the threat level under constant review based on the very latest intelligence and analysis of internal and external factors which drive the threat.
“Any reduction in the threat level is positive but it must never make us complacent.
“Terrorism remains one of the most direct and immediate risks to our national security. The public should remain alert, but not alarmed, and report any concerns they may have to the police.”