UK raises threat level from "substantial" to "severe" after Islamic terror attacks

by Jenny Mount · Nov 3rd, 2020 3:59 pm

Last Updated Nov 4th, 2020 at 5:58 pm

The United Kingdom's terror threat level has been raised to "severe" after recent attacks in Austria and France linked to Islamic extremism.

A "severe" threat level means an attack is considered highly likely. It is the country's second-highest level, moving up from the "substantial" level, in which an attack is likely.

The move was a "precautionary measure," according to Britain's Home Secretary Priti Patel in a tweet on Tuesday.

The updated threat level came after authorities in Austria said a 20-year-old Islamic extremist fatally shot four people in a busy district in Vienna before he was killed by police. The suspect has been identified as an Austrian-North Macedonian dual citizen with a previous terror conviction for attempting to join the Islamic State extremist group in Syria.

"Yesterday's attack was clearly an Islamist terror attack. It was an attack out of hatred — hatred for our fundamental values, hatred for our way of life, hatred for our democracy in which all people have equal rights and dignity," said Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

🔦 Tensions have been rising after an 18-year-old man of Chechen origin beheaded a French middle school teacher last month. The teacher had shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in a civics lesson on free speech, prompting the attack.


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