The UK faces a range of covert threats to its security. There is a serious and sustained threat from international terrorism to the UK and UK interests overseas. The current threat level in the UK is assessed as SEVERE, which means an attack is highly likely. To find out more about UK national threat level, go to the MI5 website. The most significant terrorist threat comes from Al Qaida and associated networks.
Irish-related terrorism continues to pose a threat. Dissident republican terrorist groups, who have rejected the Good Friday Agreement of April 1998, continue to mount attacks in Northern Ireland and still aspire to mount attacks in Great Britain.
The threat from espionage (spying) against the UK did not end with the collapse of Soviet communism in the early 1990s. Several countries are actively seeking British information and material to advance their own military, technological, political and economic programmes.
22 January 2010 - the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC), which operates independently of Ministers, changed the UK threat level from international terrorism from SUBSTANTIAL to SEVERE.
24 September 2010 - the Security Service (MI5), which is responsible for setting the threat level from Irish-related terrorism in Northern Ireland and Great Britain, raised the threat to Great Britain from MODERATE to SUBSTANTIAL. The threat to Northern Ireland from Irish-related terrorism is SEVERE.
7 October 2010 - There has been significant coverage in the media recently of reported plans by Al Qaida to mount terrorist attacks in Europe, including the UK. The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has reiterated that the threat level remains at SEVERE, meaning that an attack is highly likely, and has urged the public to report any suspicious activity to the police.
Information on understanding and reporting terrorism can be found in the FAQs section of the CPNI website. CPNI's publication Protecting Against Terrorism also provides businesses and organisations with useful information and resources on protective security measures that can be taken.
The global reach, capability, resilience, sophistication, ambition and lack of restraint of Al Qaida and associated groups from around the world.