Home Secretary Theresa May made the official announcement to the UK’s House of Commons on Wednesday, noting that it “reflects the continuing threat from dissident republican activity.”
The level had been “moderate” and is now “substantial,” the third-highest category out of five, which indicates that MI5 views the possibility of a terror attack as “substantial.”
The change refers specifically to the threat of an attack in England. The terror threat level in Northern Ireland is currently one level higher, at “severe.”
The threat level throughout the UK of an international terror attack is also currently at “severe.”
“As a result of this change, we are working closely with the police and other relevant authorities to ensure appropriate security measures are in place” May said.
Speaking of the dissident groups, she added “The reality is that they command little support. They do not represent the views or wishes of the vast majority of people, both in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, who decisively expressed their desire for peace in the 1998 Belfast Agreement and have been transforming Northern Ireland ever since.
“However, it is sensible, given their stated aims, that the public in Great Britain should also remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police.”
She also said that the public “should not be alarmed, and this should not affect how we go about our daily lives.”