Britain has increased its security threat level to “critical” from “severe” following the attack, Prime Minister Theresa May said in a televised statement, adding that members of the armed forces would boost security at key sites and military personnel might be deployed at public events such as concerts and sports events.
“It is now concluded on the basis of today’s investigations that the threat level should be increased for the time being from severe to critical,” she said in a televised statement after a meeting of the government’s crisis response committee.
“This means that their assessment is not only that an attack remains highly likely but that a further attack may be imminent.”
Britain’s international terror threat level was last at the critical level in June 2007.
Terror Level Raised, exceptional move
“It is is a major development, rare move”, Joe Siracusa, the terrorism expert from RMIT University in Melbourne said. According to Professor Siracusa British government raised threat assessment to that level on only two times: in 2006 to stop bombing of planes with liquid fuel, and in 2007 after the attack on the nightclub and the Glasgow airport. UK government “can not rule out it was just an individual, so she [PM May] is alerting the British people to very hard times ahead,” – Professor Siracusa stated.
British police on Tuesday identified the suicide bomber who killed 22 people, including children, in an attack on a crowded concert hall in Manchester, and said they were trying to establish whether he had acted alone or with help from others.
The man suspected of carrying out Britain’s deadliest bombing in nearly 12 years was named as Salman Abedi, aged 22, but police declined to give further details about him.
U.S. security sources, citing British intelligence officials, said he was born in Manchester in 1994 to parents of Libyan origin. He is believed to have traveled by train from London before the attack, they said.
“Our priority, along with the police counter-terrorism network and our security partners, is to continue to establish whether he was acting alone or working as part of a wider network,” Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said.
The attacker set off his improvised bomb as crowds streamed out of the Manchester Arena after a pop concert by Ariana Grande, a U.S. singer especially popular with teenage girls, killing 22, including children, and injuring dozens.