Andrew Parker warns that the UK has seen a “dramatic upshift in threats”, adding that terrorist activity is now harder to detect.
The UK is facing a “multidimensional threat” that is rapidly evolving “at a scale and pace we’ve not seen before”, the director general of MI5 has warned.
Andrew Parker said the security service is operating at an unprecedented level and has seen “a dramatic upshift in threats this year”.
“It’s at the highest tempo I’ve seen in my 34-year career,” he said. “Today there is more terrorist activity, coming at us more quickly, and it can be harder to detect.
“We’re now running well over 500 live operations involving around 3,000 individuals known to be currently involved in extremist activity in some way.
“As well as those we are looking at today, risk can also come from returnees from Syria and Iraq and also the growing pool of over 20,000 individuals we’ve looked at in the past in our terrorism investigations.
“And there will be some violent extremists not yet known to us at all.”
Speaking in central London during a rare public appearance, Mr Parker paid tribute to MI5’s 4,000 intelligence officers and the agents who risk their lives operating undercover to protect the country.
“They get up and come to work every single day to make terrorist attacks less likely and to keep the country safe,” he said.
“They’re constantly making tough professional judgements based on fragments of intelligence, pinpricks of light against a dark and shifting canvas.
“That is the job of MI5. When an attack happens, everyone in MI5 is deeply affected, on a personal and professional level.”
Separately, Mr Parker sat down for television interviews with the UK’s three major broadcasters – the first time any serving British intelligence chief has done so.
H/t reader Squodgy:
“Here we go again.
I wonder what they are planning this time to murder and maim their own kind in the name of greater control and greed ?”
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