Threat level will remain at critical days after Manchester bombing, suggesting another terror attack is 'imminent'


The threat level will remain at severe days after the Manchester bombing, suggesting that a terror attack could still be imminent.

Theresa May has said the threat level will "remain at critical and the public should remain vigilant" after a meeting of the Government's emergency committee Cobra.

The threat level was instituted just a day after the attack, for only the third time since the system was introduced in 2006. Each time it has been instituted, it has been moved back down to severe within days after operations were completed – but Ms May didn't suggest when or whether the current level would be lowered.

Critical is the highest of the five different levels. It means that "an attack is expected imminently", according to MI5, which helps set the level as part of the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre.

It's thought that the decision to raise the level was made because intelligence services are still searching for a network of attackers, and fear that it could launch another attack soon. As well as serving as a warning to the public, it came alongside the deployment of soldiers onto the street.

Ms May didn't make clear what she meant by vigilance, but police have suggested that anyone seeing suspect behaviour make sure that it is reported.

The Prime Minister said during the same conference that she would "make clear" to President Donald Trump that "intelligence that is shared between our law enforcement agencies must remain secure" at the Nato summit, following leaks of key evidence regarding the Manchester attack in the US.

Speaking inside Number 10 after the meeting, she said: "I have just chaired a meeting of Cobra where I was updated on the extraordinary response of the police and emergency services to Monday's horrific attack.

"The police have confirmed that eight suspects remain in custody and that progress is being made in the case but the threat level, as assessed by the independent joint terrorism analysis centre, will remain at critical and the public should remain vigilant."