Following the Manchester terror attack, the UK terror threat level has been raised to ‘critical’, the highest level. This means that the intelligence services believe that there is the possibility of an imminent attack.
The intelligence services are particularly concerned that the sophisticated nature of the Manchester bomb suggests that there may be a highly skilled bomb maker still at large in the UK. They are also concerned that the suicide bomber recently returned from Libya, parts of which have been controlled by Islamic State and other jihadist groups.
Whether or not Islamic State was behind the Manchester attack, it is significant that their claim to have carried out the bombing threatened further attacks. They stated:
“What comes next will be more severe on the worshippers of the cross and their allies.”
This is very similar to the wording that Islamic State used in a video showing their execution of 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya two years ago.
In view of both this and the heightened security warning, we are urging all churches to exercise extra vigilance in the coming days and immediately report anything suspicious to the police. This does not mean that you should cancel services unless you receive specific advice from the police. But you should be alert to anything unusual. Some simple practical steps that churches can take to reduce risks are contained in our book Pray and Protect, which can be downloaded free HERE.