Britain has scaled down the security alert imposed last week after the discovery of an alleged plot to blow up transatlantic airliners using liquid explosives disguised as drinks and carried in hand baggage. The alert status was lowered from critical to severe as the authorities said intelligence suggested an attack was no longer imminent, but the British Interior Minister John Reid warned people should remain on the alert.
He said: “I want to stress that the change in the threat level does not mean that the threat has gone away. The public needs to know that there may be other people out there who may be planning attacks against the UK. That is why there are a number of other security service operations underway.”
Reid said the downgraded terror threat level was not in any way a response to the massive airport congestion and flight cancellations of the last few days. Airport security checkpoints have been overloaded with people waiting hours to have their bags checked. Almost a third of the flights out of Heathrow, London’s biggest airport, had to be cancelled on Sunday.