The terrorism threat level in Britain has been raised to “severe” following the attacks in Nice and Vienna. Interior minister Priti Patel said that the move is a “precautionary measure”. It means that an attack in the United Kingdom is now considered highly likely.
“This is a precautionary measure following the terrible instances that we’ve seen in France last week, and the events that we saw in Austria last night”, said Patel. She went on to confirm that the change in status was not a reaction to any particular threat.
The change in status follows an incident in Vienna in which a gunman, who has since been identified as convicted Islamist terrorist Kutjim Fejzulai, opened fire in six different locations in the Austrian city. At least four people were killed and many more injured.
Last week, three Catholics attending Mass at Notre Dame church in Nice were murdered by an individual reported to have proclaimed “Allahu Akbar” as he commited the crimes. The incident was widely seen as an attack on Christianity, as well as against French values. President Macron spoke out in “support for the Catholics of France” following the attacks. “The whole nation is at their side and will remain so in order that religion can continue to be freely exercised in our country … Today the whole nation is beside our Catholic compatriots”.
The UK, which has been victim to many incidents carried out by individuals considered to be Muslim extremists, last witnessed a fatal attack in June 2020.
“The British public should be alert but not alarmed,” said Patel.