UK's MI5 boss warns of 'intense' terror threat

Andrew Parker director general of MI5
Credit
Stefan Rousseau  PA

Britain faced four terror attacks this year, one in Manchester and three in London, claiming almost 35 lives.

Counterintelligence service of great Britain MI5 now conducts more than 500 investigations of suspected terrorist activity, told reporters on Tuesday the head of the organization, Andrew Parker. "Today there is more terrorist activity, coming at us more quickly, and it can be harder to detect", he said. The current threat level from worldwide terrorism is set at "severe", which means attack is highly likely.

Parker said MI5 has more than 500 live investigations involving roughly 3,000 people.

"The threat is more diverse than I've ever known".

He said the plots involved "complex scheming and also crude stabbings; lengthy planning as well as spontaneous attacks".

MI5 Director General Andrew Parker said his agency, also known as the Security Service, is constantly expanding and upgrading its capabilities, but can not realistically prevent all attacks targeting civilians.

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Mr Parker said attacks could accelerate "from inception through planning to action in just a handful of days".

According to The Guardian, Parker said ISIS propaganda is now telling would-be fighters to stay in their home countries and commit terror attacks there, rather than travel to Syria or Iraq.

Threats were being identified "day in and day out" and the challenge that we face "is undoubtedly a stark one", the intelligence boss said.

Technology companies have an "ethical responsibility" to stop terrorists who are taking advantage of safe spaces on the internet to plot atrocities and buy bomb materials, the head of MI5 said yesterday.

But he warned an "unintended side effect is that these advances also aid the terrorists".

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