London police authorities to increase armed patrols due to severe terrorist threat
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More armed officers will appear on the streets of London in the coming days as the UK raises its terrorist threat level to ‘severe’, following deadly attacks in France and Austria, the Metropolitan Police announced.
“You can expect to see an increase in armed police patrols across London over the next few days,” the police said on Twitter. It’s a “precautionary measure” due to the raised terrorist threat level, they added, while urging the public to “stay alert and report anything suspicious to police.”
British authorities raised the terrorist threat level from ‘substantial’ to ‘severe’ on Tuesday. It’s the second highest level, meaning that an attack is believed to be highly likely. The move was made after Austria and France witnessed deadly attacks in recent weeks.
Armed officers will be patrolling mostly empty streets in London as England went into lockdown on Thursday in an attempt to stem the sharp rise in coronavirus cases. Until December 2, residents are forbidden to leave their homes except for essential reasons like work, education, or receiving medical assistance.
This Monday, a man who previously tried to join Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), went on a rampage in Vienna, killing four people with an automatic rifle before being shot dead by police. The shocking events in the Austrian capital followed an attack on a church in Nice, France in which three people were killed, and the beheading of school teacher Samuel Paty near Paris in mid-October.
The attack on Paty is believed to be an act of revenge, as he showed his students cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed during a class on freedom of speech. President Emmanuel Macron enraged Muslims around the world with his endorsement of caricatures of Mohammed, while the country’s security forces have cracked down on organizations suspected of promoting radical Islam.