The director general of Britain’s domestic intelligence agency warned on Tuesday against extremists in the country who regard the public as “legitimate targets”.
During a speech at the Royal United Services Institute in London, Andrew Parker said that UK is facing its gravest terror threat, including from “several thousand” Islamist extremists who are living here and want to attack the country.
He expected one or two attempts at major acts of terrorism in Britain each year.
Parker highlighted Al-Qaeda and its affiliates as presenting “the most direct and immediate threats”, and said there was “good reason to be concerned about Syria”.
Meanwhile, he said that the leaks of thousands of GCHQ (UK’s General Communications Headquarters) files by CIA spy Edward Snowden have caused “enormous damage” and handed terrorists the “gift” to attack the UK “at will”, the new head of MI5 has warned.
Parker added that the exposing of intelligence techniques, by the Guardian newspaper, had given fanatics the ability to evade the spy agencies.
He used his first public outing since taking over at MI5 to launch a scathing attack on Snowden leaks.
Leaks from Snowden are known to contain at least 58,000 GCHQ files and it is feared there could be many more.
Source: Al Manar