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Top counterterrorism officer says gaps in our knowledge about Abedi led to

first_imgIt means soldiers could be deployed to support police at major events such as the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday or the Champions League final in Cardiff on June 3. Ass Com Rowley said Operation Temperer would allow police to “stretch our armed capability”. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Mrs May said it was possible a wider group was linked to the bombing at a crowded concert hall, prompting the increase in security a little more than two weeks before the general election. Operation Temperer – the government plan to put up to 5,000 soldiers on the streets in response to a major terrorist threat – was devised in 2015.Ass Com Rowley, the country’s senior counter-terrorism officer, said initially soldiers would replace police officers at fixed locations but subsequently they could “augment our patrols” at transport hubs and major events. He said officers will be working “really closely” with organisers of forthcoming major events to review security and policing arrangements.Events will only go ahead “when it’s sensible and safe to do so,” he said. Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said “gaps in our knowledge” about Salman Abedi had led to the increased threat level.Police on Tuesday said they believed British-born Abedi, aged 22, carried out Britain’s deadliest bombing in nearly 12 years and Prime Minister Theresa May said another attack could be imminent. Theresa May Credit:PAcenter_img Theresa May  “There are many big events across the country over the next couple of weeks, we are going to be working really closely with the organisers to review the security, review their stewarding arrangements, review our policing arrangements and make sure that decisions are taken that events only go ahead when it’s sensible and safe to do so,” he said.Ass Com Rowley acknowledged it was “unusual” but added: “This is professional and well thought through. For this brief period, while we have these lines of inquiry to accelerate and to pursue, we can protect and reassure the public with this stance across the country.”   An independent body which sets the threat level recommended it be raised to “critical” from “severe” for the first time since June 2007.”This means that their assessment is not only that an attack remains highly likely but that a further attack may be imminent,” May said in a televised statement from her Downing Street Office after a meeting of the government’s crisis response committee. “Armed police officers responsible for duties such as guarding key sites will be replaced by members of the armed forces … You might also see military personnel deployed at certain events, such as concerts and sports matches.”last_img read more