British security services have warned that a terrorist attack in the country is “highly likely” following attacks in other parts of Europe.
“The threat level currently stands at SEVERE (sic), which means that an attack in the UK is highly likely,” read a writing argument by James Eadie QC for the security services.
He presented his argument before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) in London as Britain’s intelligence agencies were defending themselves against allegations of mass collection of communications data and UK citizens’ personal information without proper legal safeguards.
In the latest terrorist attacks in Europe, two knife-wielding men interrupted a French church service on Tuesday, took a number of people hostage and killed an 85-year-old priest.
The two assailants were later shot and killed by police officers. After the incident, Amaq news agency, which is affiliated to the Takfiri terrorist group, announced that two of its members had carried out the attack.
Images threatening attacks in London and other major capitals have also been reportedly posted on messaging app Telegram.
The UK National Police Chiefs’ Council urged communities to stay alert, but not alarmed.
“As we have seen, Daesh and other terrorist groups have targeted Christian as well as Jewish and other faith groups in the West and beyond,” said Neil Basu, deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.
“We are reiterating our protective security advice to Christian places of worship and have circulated specific advice today. We are also taking this opportunity to remind them to review their security arrangements as a precaution,” he said.
“While the threat from terrorism remains unchanged at severe, we urge the public to be vigilant,” he added.