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United Kingdom Raises Terror Threat Level

September 15, 2017 - Following this morning's terrorist attack on a London Tube train, Ohio State reached out to those students studying and researching in London.

In response to the incident, the M15 Security Service (the United Kingdom's domestic counter-intelligence and security agency) has raised the threat level for international terrorism in the U.K. from Severe to Critical.

Update: On September 17, 2017 the threat level for international terrorism was lowered from Critical to Severe.

The M15 Security Service maintains a public listing of its threat level system and its intended use. It is important to note the following on the M15 website:

How should you respond?

Threat levels themselves do not require specific responses from the public. They are a tool for security practitioners working across different sectors of the Critical National Infrastructure and the police to use in determining what protective security response may be required.

Vigilance is especially important given the current national threat. Sharing national threat levels with the general public keeps everyone informed. It explains the context for the various security measures (for example, airport security or bag searches) which we may encounter in our daily lives.

The movement to Critical does allow for an enhanced and militarized response. Travelers may notice more military presence around key public venues including public transport stations. It is also likely that there will be additional security operations as local authorities investigate the incident. The last three occasions the threat level was raised to Critical (2006, 2007 and May 2017) the enhanced alert lasted three to four days. Travelers in London and the United Kingdom are reminded to:

  1. Exercise diligent situational awareness
  2. Routinely monitor local media and security services including Metropolitan Police
  3. Ensure they are registered with the Department of State STEP notification system

Ohio State will continue to diligently monitor safety and security information from official resources and convey important updates to all travelers.