Soldiers have been scrambled to join armed cops patrolling Britain’s streets today as they race to foil more terror attacks.
A total of 984 troops carrying guns are being ferried out to join police officers as the terror threat has been raised to the highest possible level in a decade – critical – meaning an attack is now “expected imminently”.
Troops have reportedly taken over many of the sentry boxes at Parliament from police as they join cops guarding the city.
About 30 soldiers were seen walking into the grounds through the St Stephen’s Entrance just after midday as they create a ring of steel around Westminster.
Amber Rudd said this morning a total of 3,800 soldiers were ready to be called upon to be deployed to Britain’s streets should counties across the country wish to have them man the streets in their communities.
So far 984 troops have been confirmed as being dispatched and will predominantly patrol the London area.
The need for greater police numbers to patrol the streets has seen the Changing of the Guard ceremony cancelled today.
A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said: “The decision has been taken in order to release the police who would otherwise be dealing with the road closures.”
The troops were deployed as:
- The Sun has launched ‘Together With Manchester‘ appeal and donated £100,000 to get it going
- At least 22 people died and a further 64 were injured, with 20 still “critical”
- Terrorist named as British-born Salman Abedi, 22, who was “known to MI5”
- Home Secretary Amber Rudd said it’s “likely” Abedi “was not doing this on his own”
- Cops raided two addresses and arrested Abedi’s brother Ismail, 23, yesterday
- Three more men have been arrested across the city this morning
- Heavily armed soldiers wearing gas masks raided a Manchester city centre flat hours after the three men were arrested on Wednesday
- French interior minister said bomber is believed to have travelled to Syria and had “proven” links with Isis
- Theresa May raised the UK threat level to “critical”
- The Government has ordered up to 3,800 troops on the streets to support the police with 989 deployed by midday
- Victims included an eight-year-old girl, an aunt who shielded her niece from blast and an off-duty police officer
- The Queen praised the people of Manchester for their compassion
- Ariana Grande’s concerts in London on Thursday and Friday have not yet been postponed or cancelled
- On Wednesday afternoon police were said to be hunting a bomb maker and the Chief Constable of GMP confirmed officers are investigating “a network”
The Palace of Westminster is also closed today after advice from police – all tours, events and banquets are cancelled until further notice.
Bus loads of tourists, school groups and visitors were turned away from the Palace of Westminster this morning as it was put on lockdown following the brutal slayings on Monday night.
The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Ian Hopkins, said in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon there are no military personnel on the streets of Manchester.
He added there are no plans for there to be – as the soldiers deployed elsewhere had allowed more officers to support those working in Manchester following the attack.
He added: “I think it is very clear that this is a network that we are investigating and it continues at a pace.”
Theresa May said of the terror fears: “It is a possibility we cannot ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack.”
Investigators believe British-born bomber Salman Abedi, 22, may be part of a wider network of ISIS-inspired terrorists which includes a bomb-maker.
Special Forces have already been deployed to Manchester to help in the hunt for accomplices of Abedi, who murdered 22 concert-goers at the Manchester Arena in Britain’s worst terrorist atrocity for 12 years.
Click here to read more.
Source: the Sun