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Advisory issued as Britain raises terror threat to ‘critical’

September 18, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

The UK raised its terror threat level to critical and deployed troops on city streets at the weekend after a terrorist launched a fire-bomb attack on a London tube train and injured 30 people.

‘Critical’ is the highest level of alert, meaning an attack is expected imminently. Last night, Australian time, Britain downgraded the alert to ‘severe’, meaning an attack is ‘highly likely’.

Police are reported to be “chasing down suspects” with hundreds of officers going through CCTV footage in the wake of the attack, which used explosive concealed in a plastic bucket.

On Saturday, British police raided the London home of an elderly couple honoured for their work with child refugees. The couple are said to have taken care of 268 foster children, some of them refugees displaced from Syria and elsewhere.

An 18-year-old male was arrested at the port of Dover and later a 21-year-old male at Hounslow near London Heathrow Airport, in connection with the raids. The 18-year-old is reported to be an Iraqi orphan who moved to the Britain as a refugee three years ago. The other man has also been reported to be a refugee.

The Islamic State terrorist group, ISIS, claimed responsibility for the bucket blast. Reports said casualties were relatively light because the main charge did not go off.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) issued an immediate travel advisory update. “​Following a terrorist attack on a Tube train in south-west London on 15 September 2017, which resulted in a number of injuries, the UK Government has increased the UK’s domestic threat level to ‘Critical’ (the highest of the UK’s five domestic threat levels).

“UK Prime Minister May has also announced that armed soldiers will be deployed in UK cities to assist police with security. Expect an increased police and security presence across the UK.”

Aussie travellers seem increasingly to be treating such events as a routine hazard of travel anywhere. Some wholesalers say healthy travel bookings reflect pent-up demand, with travellers who might have held back earlier over terrorism fears becoming more pragmatic and resolving to go anyway. The chances of being caught in a terrorist incident are very small.

Written by Peter Needham

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