The News Minute | January 9, 2015 | 7:25 am IST
Britain has taken "precautionary" steps to boost security along its border with France, following the terror attack on the office of a magazine in Paris, British Home Secretary, Theresa May, said on Thursday.
On Wednesday, gunmen burst into French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo's office with automatic weapons, killing 12 people, including the editor of the weekly and three acclaimed cartoonists, and wounding more than 20 other people before escaping.
Britain's international terrorism threat level remained at "severe," the second highest of all five possible threat levels, which meant that a terrorist attack was "highly likely" and the public should remain vigilant, May said in a statement, according to a Xinhua report.
"We have offered France every assistance necessary, including full cooperation of our police, and security and intelligence agencies," she noted, adding that British officials were "in close contact with their French counterparts".
"The cowardly attacks that took place in Paris yesterday (Wednesday) have shocked and sickened people in the United Kingdom and around the world. And they are a reminder of the very serious threat we face from terrorism," May deplored.
"In deliberately targeting and murdering journalists, the terrorists were attacking freedom and democracy. And in murdering police officers, they attacked the people who risk their own safety every day to protect us and our way of life," the home secretary continued.
On Thursday, May also chaired an emergency meeting to "consider Britain's response to the attacks and our own preparedness for a similar attack".
"I want to reiterate our commitment to standing with the French people against terror. The thoughts and prayers of all of us are with the families, friends and colleagues of the victims," she said.
In August last year, Britain upgraded its international terrorism threat level from "substantial" to "severe".