UK lowers terror threat level to 'severe' as more arrested

Avon and Somerset Police responded to the news the terror threat had been lowered after Prime Minister Theresa made a statement this morning (May 27).

She said "significant activity" by the police during the last 24 hours led to the threat being reduced.

At an emergency COBRA meeting, the independent Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre advised that the United Kingdom should return to the second highest level, which indicates an attack is highly likely rather than imminent.

Arsenal fan Liz Johnson said she was "sad after what happened in Manchester".

Greater Manchester Police had arrested another man overnight on suspicion of terrorism offences as part of its ongoing investigation into the attack.

The threat assessment has now been returned to the level it was at prior to the attack in Manchester, northwest England, and means soldiers who have been assisting police, would be withdrawn from Britain's streets from midnight on Monday.

May said this meant the independent body which sets the threat level had decided it should be lowered from its highest rating "critical", which meant an attack could be imminent, to "severe".

Speaking outside Scotland Yard, he stressed there was still much to do and warned more searches and arrests were likely to take place in the coming days.

Police are "making enormous progress" in the Manchester bombing investigation, "but we've still got some loose ends to tie up", Britain's top counterterror officer, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, said Friday. Police said officers were at the theater but did not give further details.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May gives a press conference during the G7 on May 26, 2017, in Taormina, Sicily.

Rowley, however, said there were still "gaps in our understanding" of the plot, and that there will be "more arrests and more searches" linked to the Manchester attack. "There will be more arrests and there will be more searches", he said.

Investigators were searching several homes, including that of Abedi in south Manchester and other houses in nearby districts on Saturday.

Police on Saturday also evacuated an area around a property in the Moss Side neighborhood of Manchester. A total of 116 people were treated in hospitals after the attack.

The country is taking the unusual step of arming police for patrols in Manchester, London and other locations this weekend during spring bank holiday, the country's first holiday since the bombing.

Hundreds of soldiers replaced police at high-profile sites including Buckingham Palace and Parliament, and police armed with submachine guns have been deployed in city centers, transit hubs, tourist areas and major events.

More than 1,000 armed police are on standby as major events including the Football Association Cup Final and the Premiership Rugby Final are expected to draw tens of thousands of people.

  • Joanne Flowers