There Isn’t A Specific Threat To London’s Tube Network, Despite What Your Text Messages Say

A message claiming that there is a high risk of a terror attack on London’s underground network has gone viral. The police say it’s rubbish.

A message has gone viral claiming that there is a high likelihood of a terrorist attack on London’s underground network on Monday morning, and that all London police officers have been called in to a special 4am shift.

This is a typical example of the message doing the rounds:


The warning message seems to be mainly spreading via text messages and WhatsApp, rather than via Twitter and Facebook.

But a Metropolitan police spokesman told BuzzFeed that the text message is “completely untrue”, and that no extra officers are coming in early.

The Met, which is responsible for policing the capital, says it has a policy of not normally commenting on hoaxes for fear of encouraging more. But police felt this particular message had reached such a wide audience they had to issue a public denial.

The London boss of the British Transport police, who look after the tube network, has hit out at such “rumours”.

The viral message seems to have been prompted by the UK government’s decision on Friday to raise the official terror threat level to “severe”.

That decision, which was based on intelligence on the activities of militants in Iraq and Syria, means that the government believes a terrorist attack on British soil is “highly likely”.

But home secretary Theresa May made it very clear that there is no evidence of any specific threat or clues as to where and when an attack may take place.

Still, a lot of people are now very worried and will be avoiding the tube on Monday, in part due to the volume of messages that are being sent.

Don't get the tube tomorrow please everyone just in case. I've had three texts about the terror threat. Cycle or walk or something.

— Lucie Grace (@LucieGraceFace)

Rumours of a planned terrorist attack on the London tube tomorrow. Please avoid this form of transport this week if possible.

— Chris Whiting (@ChrisRWhiting)

Guys don't travel on the tube tomorrow. Apparently there's a big terror threat :/

— Elliott Hale (@elliotthale)

And the heightened terrorist threat level does play into the hands of people creating such apparently fake warnings.

Must say though. If you raise the threat level to severe you can’t be shocked when people believe stupid rumours about attacks on the tube.

— David O'Neill (@daveirl)

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Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Jim Waterson at jim.waterson@buzzfeed.com.
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