Theresa May just raised the level of terror threat to critical indicating the possibility of an attack to come soon and confirming the theory according to which Salman Abedi (the Manchester bomber) was not acting as a lone wolf.


Operation Temperer is a plan to deploy armed troops around the UK in the case of an imminent terror threat. It was a plan secretly designed in 2015 (until a leak made it public) and David Cameron had always shown carefulness on mobilising soldiers under this operation as it was believed that a major military presence in the streets could cause side conflicts (cf.

troubles in Northern Ireland when soldiers were put on patrol) and be a sign of the government's weakness.


Tony Blair was one of the recent prime minister resorting to the use of military forces when in 2003 the government received information about a plot linked to the attack on an airplane.

In this case, the critics were very strong towards Blair and the way he decided to handle the situation: it has been considered that the deployment of soldiers would only raise panic around the United Kingdom.

Similarly, May's plans to employ Operation Temperer already face an endless stream of critics: between those against troops patrolling in the streets as if it was a natural event and others expressing their concern about this plan being used only to increase the terror and serve May's interests in the General Election campaign.


However, it is necessary to point out that the decision was not taken by May herself. It is indeed the Joint Terrorism Analysis Center that mainly has a say on the changes in the threat level in case of a terror attack: police terrorism experts, security services, and Whitehall departments work together on this project.

The Center had numerous meetings since Tuesday to be able to conscientiously and precisely assess the danger of a forthcoming attack.

At first, the Center decided to keep the level at severe (meaning the chances of an upcoming attack are highly likely) – it is only when the identity of the bomber was discovered and the investigations progressed that the level was raised to critical (meaning an attack is expected soon) as it is believed that Salman Abedi did not act alone but was part of a wider network, particularly after ISIS claiming responsibility for the attack.

With the numerous events programmed in the UK (particularly international ones such as the Champions League final in Cardiff), the worry is that the specific network helping Salman Abedi to pursue the attack will extend its plans to other events.


Questioned about the actual consequences of applying Operation Temperer, Theresa May announced: “This means that armed police officers responsible for duties such as guarding key sites will be replaced by members of the armed forces, which will allow the police to significantly increase the number of armed officers on patrol in key locations (…) You might also see military personnel deployed at certain events, such as concerts and sports matches, helping the police to keep the public safe. In all circumstances, members of the armed forces who are deployed in this way will be under the command of police officers" (via The Telegraph).

Following, Theresa May official declaration on Operation Temperer, concluded by "Terrorists will never win and we will prevail".