The UK Home Secretary confirmed today that the terror threat has increased to severe following an explosion in Liverpool. 

A blast outside Liverpool Women's Hospital on Sunday November 14 was declared a terror incident by police. 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is chairing an emergency Cobra meeting on Monday afternoon in response to the explosion, according to Downing Street. 

Today, Priti Patel said that the terror threat for the UK has been raised to severe from substantial. 

Here's what the different threat levels mean...

What are the different terror threat levels?

There are five levels of terror threat in the UK:

  • low - an attack is highly unlikely
  • moderate - an attack is possible but not likely
  • substantial - an attack is likely
  • severe - an attack is highly likely
  • critical - an attack is highly likely in the near future

On Monday November 15, the UK's terror threat was increased from substantial to severe, meaning a terror attack is highly likely. 

The level is set by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre and the Security Service (MI5).

Threat levels can change at any time as different information becomes available.

When was the UK last under severe threat?

The terror threat level was last increased from substantial to severe in November 2020, before being reduced back to  substantial in February 2021. 

Previously, for a period of two days between September 15 2017 and September 17 2017, threat from international terrorism was critical. 

This UK also moved to the critical threat level following the 2007 London terror attacks. 

Meanwhile, aside from the national threat level, there is also a Northern Ireland-related threat level. 

The threat to Northern Ireland from Northern Ireland-related terrorism has remained severe since 2010, when this specific record began.