BRITAIN faces a growing threat from terrorists at home and abroad and “cannot hope to stop” every plot, the boss of MI5 has warned.
Andrew Parker said Al Qaeda terrorists in Syria were trying to direct atrocities here and planning “mass casualty attacks” against the West.
His chilling warning came as French police continued the hunt for brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, chief suspects in the Paris magazine massacre in which 12 people were shot dead.
Mr Parker, 52, warned that the terrorist threat was growing at the same time as MI5’s ability to track terrorists was being reduced.
Extremists are finding more secretive ways of communicating online and avoiding being tracked by the security services.
Mr Parker said: “If we are to have the best chance of preventing such harm, we need the capability to shine a light into the activities of the worst individuals who pose the gravest threats.
But technological changes risk closing off areas where we need to operate.
The dark places from where those who wish us harm can plot and plan are increasing.”
In the UK four serious plots, ranging from lone wolf attacks to major terrorist operations, are known to have been foiled in the past year.
Mr Parker, who directed Britain’s response to the July 2005 London bombings, said the number of British extremists who have gone to Syria and Iraq to fight as jihadis has risen to 600 with half of them already back home.
Describing the intelligence task as “challenging”, he said IS was “trying to direct terrorist attacks in the UK and elsewhere from Syria, using violent extremists here as their instruments.
They are seeking through propaganda to provoke individuals in the UK to carry out attacks here.”
In a clear message to his political paymasters, he added: “My sharpest concern as director general of MI5 is the growing gap between the increasingly challenging threat and the decreasing availability of capabilities to address it.”
Full article: ‘We can’t stop terror attacks’ MI5 chief’s chilling warning about jihadi threat to Britain (Express.co.uk)