Britain plans for ‘severe’ Olympic terror threat

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LONDON (AP) — Britain is planning for the terror threat to be “severe” during the 2012 London Olympics despite the level being downgraded by the government this week.

Home Secretary Theresa May said Monday that the assessment of a terrorist attack had been lowered from “severe” to “substantial.” She was referring to the current national situation, not the period of the Olympics.

The new alert level means that the risk of an attack is considered a “strong possibility” and could occur “without further warning.”

Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson said Tuesday that the “planning assumption” for the games remains that the threat will be at severe — the second highest classification, meaning an attack is highly likely in Britain.

There are five levels of threat, from low, meaning an attack is unlikely, to critical, meaning an attack is imminent.