The British government will begin to withdraw military forces deployed on the streets of the U.K. in response to the May 22 bombing of the Manchester Arena, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.
The draw down began at the conclusion of the U.K.’s three day weekend, a British government official told TheDCNF. Soldiers were deployed in Operation TEMPERER, the British government’s emergency protocol allowing troops to support police after a terrorist attack. Extra deployed police forces will also withdraw.
“The withdrawal of TEMPERER will be phased, and does not formally end until all military personnel have returned to their bases,” said the official. “There are detailed plans in place to ensure a smooth transition from Operation TEMPERER, and military personnel will remain at readiness to deploy in support of the police should future security situations require.”
The official was not able to provide an exact schedule for the draw down but noted it will be “based on local police needs.”
TEMPERER allows for up to 5,100 soldiers to be deployed, if necessary. The Civil Contingencies Committee (also known as COBRA), a cabinet committee headed by the Home Secretary, reportedly activates the protocol. Once mobilized, the soldiers are under the command of local police forces. They are then primarily used for guarding “key sites,” freeing up police to patrol.
France, which has been subject to a series of terrorist attacks over the last year, deployed thousands of soldiers to the streets after the Paris attacks in 2015. The country has been under a state of emergency since.
British authorities believed Abedi may have been part of a larger terrorist cell and were concerned of potential follow-up attacks after the initial bombing. No subsequent attack occurred, though authorities have arrested 16 people in connection with the attack, 14 remain in custody.
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