International

UK raises threat level against lawmakers to 'substantial' after stabbing

The United Kingdom raised the terrorism threat level against lawmakers to "substantial" following the stabbing death of parliamentarian David Amess.

"While we do not see any information or intelligence which points to any credible, specific or imminent threat, I must update the House (of Commons) that the threat level facing members of this House is now deemed to be substantial," Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

According to the BBC, terrorism threat level for lawmakers was previously assessed as "moderate."

The determination followed an independent review conducted by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre on lawmakers' risks. 

"I can assure the House that our world class security and intelligence agencies and counter terror police will now ensure that this change is properly reflected in the operational posture," Patel said, Reuters reported.

The adjustment comes less than a week after Conservative Party lawmaker Amess was stabbed multiple times at a Methodist church while meeting with constituents.

The Metropolitan Police Service last week issued a statement that his death had been deemed a terrorism incident with "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."

A Briton-Somali named Ali Harbi Ali has been identified as the lone suspect in the murder. 

His father, a former top Somalian official, told the Sunday Times that "I'm feeling very traumatized. It's not something that I expected or even dreamed of."

Amess's death evoked memories of a similar incident that happened only five years ago, when a far-right extremist killed British lawmaker Jo Cox ahead of a planned meeting with voters.

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