|Threat levels are at an all time high, police funding heading towards an all time low...|
According to Andrew Parker, the head of M15, Islamic State terrorists are planning a “mass casualty” attack in the UK.
Andrew Parker, director general of the Security Service said the "scale and tempo" of the danger is now at a level he has not seen in his 32-year career. This comes at a time when politicians have slashed police operational budgets, manning is at an all time low and senior officers are accepting early retirement packages.
Giving a speech in London, Mr Parker said six attempts at terrorist atrocities in the UK have been thwarted in the last year. He warned of a "three dimensional threat" - at home, overseas and online - with an increasing proportion of the agency's casework linked to Syria and IS.
And he warned of the terror threat posed by IS: “It uses the full range of modern communications tools to spread its message of hate, and to inspire extremists, sometimes as young as their teens, to conduct attacks in whatever way they can.”
The speed at which radicalisation can occur online and the emphasis on low sophistication but potentially deadly plots are two major challenges posed by IS, he said, while a greater ambition for "mass casualty" attacks has been observed in the last year.
Mr Parker stressed that the threats to Britain from al Qaida in South Asia, the Arabian Peninsula and parts of Africa have not disappeared.
"All of this means that the threat we are facing today is on a scale and at a tempo that I have not seen before in my career," he said.
He also used the address to highlight the need for surveillance powers to be brought in line with modern technology.
"Today the conversations of our adversaries are happening on a bewildering array of devices and digital platforms, often provided by companies based overseas," he said.
His comments come days before the Government is expected to publish a draft of landmark legislation covering spies activities in the digital era.
Source: PA, CNS, Evening Standard
E&OE google.com/+JulianBray Tel:+44 (0) 1733 345581 IPHONE 0743 303 145 .