The British army are being deployed on the streets amid fears a further terror attack is about to occur. Up to 5,000 soldiers will be deployed amid fears that the Manchester suicide bomber had accomplices preparing further attacks, Theresa May has announced.
For the first time in 10 years, the Prime Minister raised the terror threat to the highest possible level (of five possible levels), from severe to critical, meaning an attack is “expected imminently”. It is the first time Britain has been on maximum terrorist alert since 2007, when a blazing car loaded with gas canisters was driven into Glasgow Airport.
Mrs May announced that the police had asked for military support, and the Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon approved the request, meaning Operation Temperer is now in force for the first time.
Troops will replace police officers at set-piece events including sports venues and concerts. With the FA Cup final this weekend, Mrs May acted on the advice of the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre after chairing two meetings of the Cobra emergency committee.
Investigators fear that the British-born bomber Salman Abedi, a 22-year-old of Libyan descent, was part of a wider network of Isil-inspired terrorists, including a bomb-maker, who may still be at large. Special Forces were deployed to Manchester ready to engage in the hunt for accomplices of Abedi, who killed 22 concert-goers in Britain’s worst terrorist atrocity for 12 years.
Outlining the increased risk, Mrs May said: “It is a possibility we cannot ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack.”