LONDON (Reuters) - The British government said on Thursday it had increased security at its borders, including at ports and at checkpoints it operates on French soil, in response to the deadly attack on the office of weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
Interior minister Theresa May said the extra security was not based on specific intelligence and that the country’s threat alert, which is already at its second highest level, had not been changed.
“Following the attacks we took the precautionary step yesterday of increasing security at the French-UK border,” May said. “Officers from border force, the police and other organisations operating at the UK border have intensified checks on passengers, on vehicles, and on goods coming from France and other parts of Europe.”
A spokeswoman for Prime Minister David Cameron cited increased security at British checkpoints at the French port of Calais and at the Eurostar terminal in Paris as examples, saying Britain had sent a police counter-terrorism expert to France.
Earlier, Britain’s emergency response committee Cobra met to discuss the Paris attack in which 12 people were killed. Britain’s threat level indicates an attack on home soil is highly likely. Cameron has said militants returning from Syria and Iraq pose the biggest risk to the country’s security.
May chaired the meeting, which heard briefings from intelligence agencies and national security advisers. Cameron’s spokeswoman said police experts were ready to talk to British media outlets who had concerns about their security.
Reporting by William James; Editing by Andrew Osborn