UK terror threat level reduced from "critical" to "severe" as troop withdrawal from streets planned

Jasper Jolly
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Troops joined police officers on guard at public locations (Source: Getty)

The UK's threat level has been reduced from "critical" to "severe" after intelligence officials judged another attack on British soil had diminished, with troops to be withdrawn from public guard posts at the end of the bank holiday.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (Jtac) decided this morning to reduce its public assessment of the likelihood of a follow-up attack from the Manchester bombing on Monday.

From midnight on Monday onwards members of the armed forces will be "gradually withdrawn" from postings at civilian events, May said.

Read more: UK threat level will remain at "critical", May confirms

Troops will still be present at major events in London and around the UK until the end of the bank holiday weekend.

The new rating means officials at Jtac, an independent body tasked with assessing the threat of an attack on UK soil, judge a new attack is "highly likely" rather than being "expected imminently". May said the public should "remain vigilant".

May said the reduced threat level came because of the arrest of 11 people in an investigation into possible accomplices of the Manchester bomber, who killed 22 people, including children, in the attack on Monday evening as fans were leaving a concert by pop singer Ariana Grande.

Read more: Armed police to patrol big events on FA Cup final day in London

There has been a "significant amount of police activity" over the past 24 hours leading to these arrests, May said.

In response to the attack the Prime Minister launched the pre-planned Operation Temperer, which instructed members of the armed forces to join public patrols under police command.

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