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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Britain and U.S. Soften Alert on Flights but Remain Wary

LONDON -- Britain has scaled down its security alert and eased a ban on airline cabin baggage imposed last week after police said they had foiled a plot to blow up airliners using liquid explosives disguised as drinks.

Home Secretary John Reid said the downgrading of the threat of a terrorist attack from critical, the highest level, to severe, did not mean the danger of an attack had passed.

Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander said passengers could now take one piece of hand luggage onto planes but would still be banned from taking liquids aboard, except medicines that could be verified and baby food that would have to be tasted by accompanying adults.

Electrical devices like laptop computers would have to be individually checked by security staff, and mobile phones were banned from hand luggage Thursday.

"There has now been time to assess the intelligence picture following the police operation," Reid told reporters. "The police believe that the main suspects in the alleged plot were arrested last week.

"There is still a very serious threat of an attack," he added. "The threat level is at severe, indicating a high likelihood of an attempted terrorist attack at some stage."

The United States said it had also scaled back its threat level for flights from Britain but would remain vigilant.