Gib threat level at ‘substantial’ as UK moves from ‘critical to severe’
The threat level for Gibraltar remains at ‘substantial’ as the Gibraltar Contingency Council closely monitors events of UK terror attack. In the UK yesterday the threat level was lowered from critical to severe after two people were arrested in connection with the terror attack on Parsons Green and UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd confirmed police in UK had made "good progress" in the investigation as she announced the UK had been removed from the highest terror alert on Friday and that the UK police had made good progress with what is still an ongoing operation.
Locally the Gibraltar Contingency Council met on Saturday to discuss the situation in London and concluded that the threat level for Gibraltar should remain ‘Substantial’, that means that an attack remains a strong possibility; but that there is no specific intelligence to suggest an increase in the threat to Gibraltar.
In a statement on Saturday the GCC said it would continue to closely monitor events in the UK.
The Royal Gibraltar Police will also review its operational posture and will take the necessary measures to keep the Public safe.
The Public, said the statement, may see an increased uniformed police presence.
“This is a routine measure to provide additional reassurance to members of the Public,” it added.
The Gibraltar Contingency Council has called on the public to remain vigilant and to report any security concerns to the Royal Gibraltar Police via the Control Room on 2007250
CALL FOR VIGILANCE IN UK
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said yesterday that the joint terrorist analysis centre, which reviews the threat level that the UK is under, had decided to lower that level from critical to severe.
"Severe still means that an attack is highly likely so I would urge everybody to continue to be vigilant but not alarmed."
It comes after police arrested a 21-year-old man in Hounslow at 11.50pm on Saturday.
Searches were also taking place at a residential address in Stanwell, Surrey, in connection with the arrest , Scotland Yard said.
An 18-year-old man was also detained in the departure area of Dover ferry port on Saturday morning.
The Home Secretary said it appeared the bomber was not a lone wolf but it was "too early to reach any final conclusions on that".
Asked if she could give any information on claims by Islamic State that there were other unexploded devices, she told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show: "We don't.
"It is inevitable that so-called Islamic State, or Daesh, will reach in and try and claim responsibility. We have no evidence to suggest that yet."
The uk's top counter-terrorism officer, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, said police were gaining a "greater understanding of the preparation of the device".
He said: "The high pace and rapid progress of this investigation is continuing.
"There was another arrest overnight and two men are in custody. There are now two searches continuing at addresses in Hounslow and Surrey and we are getting a greater understanding of the preparation of the device.
"There is still much more to do but this greater clarity and this progress has led JTAC - the independent body that assesses threat - to come to the judgement that an attack is no longer imminent."
Armed police will maintain a strong presence across the country early into next week and military personnel drafted in to provide support will be phased out, Mr Rowley said.
On Saturday, a search was carried out at a house in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey - home to foster care couple Penelope and Ronald Jones, aged 71 and 88 respectively, who previously received MBEs for services to children and families.
The couple are said to be staying with friends for at least the next five days following the police raids, during which surrounding houses were evacuated by counter-terror officers, with residents told they had "one minute" to flee their homes.
Friend Alison Griffiths said the couple - foster parents for almost 40 years who had taken in up to 300 children, including eight refugees - had an 18-year-old and a 22-year-old staying with them recently.
She described Mr and Mrs Jones as "great pillars of the community", adding: "They do a job that not many people do."
Jim Adaway, a family friend, said the Joneses recently returned to foster caring to help resettle youngsters from overseas.
The 37-year-old told the Press Association: "They have been here a lot longer than me.
"All I know is that they gave up the fostering and someone got in touch with them and they started taking kids again, refugees, about a year ago."
Mrs Jones had been struggling with one of the children in their care, he added.
"I think Penny was getting in touch with (the authorities) saying 'I cannot handle this one'."
Thirty people were injured when the improvised device exploded during rush hour at Parsons Green station, with all but one now discharged from hospital.
A key strand of the investigation has focused on CCTV as officers comb through footage to establish who planted the device, and when and where it was placed on the train.
The first suspect was arrested at around 7.50am, in the port which is the busiest ferry hub in Europe and serves as a commercial gateway to the French coast, including Calais and Dunkirk.
Tourist Daniel Vaselicu, 31, said he saw the "young and light-skinned" man being interrogated by two unarmed police officers moments before his arrest in Dover.
The teenage suspect arrested in Dover is understood to be an Iraqi orphan who had moved to Britain aged 15 after his parents died, a local politician said.
Leader of Spelthorne Borough Council Ian Harvey, whose ward is Sunbury East, said he had learnt about the boy's background from neighbours of the Joneses and publicly available information.
He told the Press Association: "One thing I understand is that he was an Iraqi refugee who came here aged 15 - his parents died in Iraq."