Islamic terrorists are relentlessly plotting and recruiting assets to carry out terror attacks in the UK, MI5 Director Andrew Parker.
The United Kingdom faces an unprecedented terror threat from Islamic State (ISIS) and Al Qaeda terrorists plotting “mass casualty” attacks, Andrew Parker, the head of Britain’s domestic security service MI5, warned Wednesday night.
In a rare public speech, his third since taking office in 2013, Andrew Parker said his security service has thwarted six terror attacks in the UK, and several overseas, in the past year.
Assessing the extent of the threat today, he stated: “It may not yet have reached the high water mark and, despite the successes we have had, we can never be confident of stopping everything.”
He added that the threat from jihadists was on a “scale and tempo” he had never seen in his 32-year career.
Parker shared that terrorists were using a “bewildering array of devices and digital platforms” to plot attacks, admitting MI5 had to carry out computer hacking against terror groups to access their communication networks.
He said the terrorists in Syria were using social media to recruit potential operatives, and this presents an “enormous challenge” to British security forces operating to stop them.
He revealed there were 3,000 suspected jihadists who were a “substantial challenge” to the UK.
“This year we have seen strong signs of greater ambition for mass casualty attacks by ISIL,” he said.
“More than 750 people from this country have travelled to Syria to join extremist organisations and join in the fighting. The growth of the threat shows no sign of abating.”
He was speaking ahead of the publication of two pieces of legislation – on combating extremism and giving security officials greater powers to monitor communications data.
Parker is advocating the passage of the bill to enable security forces to better combat online terrorism. He said MI5 relied on the data to save lives and “without the tool, we wouldn’t be able to keep the country safe.”