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Threat level changes

A single national threat level now describes the terrorism threat to the UK. The threat from Northern Ireland-related terrorism in Northern Ireland will remain separate.

For the first time, the threat from extreme right and left-wing terrorism will be reflected in the published threat level. Previously the threat level system described the threat from ‘international terrorism’, which has come largely to mean Islamist terrorism. However, this is now outdated, the UK authorities say, as Islamist terrorism can be home grown, just as extreme right-wing terrorism can have an international dimension.

The outgoing 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.”

Definitions of the low, substantial and critical threat levels have changed and 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 national threat level to the UK, and separately, the Northern Ireland-related terrorism threat level, are each described as severe. Visit


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