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The head of MI5 has warned that Islamic State are planning mass casualty attacks in Britain, some however have accused him of simply attempting to gain new powers for his department.

MI5 is the United Kingdom’s domestic counter-intelligence and security agency. Its remit includes the protection of British parliamentary democracy and economic interests, counter-terrorism and counter-espionage within the UK. Although mainly concerned with internal security, it does have an overseas role in support of its mission.

MI5 director general Andrew Parker said the current level of threat was the highest he had seen in a career spanning 32 years, and that the danger from domestic jihadis showed no sign of abating.

Parker said:

“We are seeing plots against the UK directed by terrorists in Syria, enabled through contacts with terrorists in Syria and inspired online by Isil’s sophisticated exploitation of technology.

On top of that, in a range of attacks in Europe and elsewhere, this year we have seen greater ambition for mass casualty attacks. 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.”

Some are not convinced, Sky News’s political correspondent Robert Nisbet accused Parker of “frantic spadework” ahead of the government’s investigatory powers bill.

Andrew Parker said the service was not seeking “sweeping new intrusive powers” but rather a framework that “reflects the way that technology has moved on”.

A draft bill updating state surveillance powers is due next week.

8 COMMENTS

  1. The security services only have themselves to blame for not more board laws and for us not trusting them when they say there is a danger. No sane person would stop the security services spying or doing whatever it took, if they could prove someone was a threat and got a court order. The whole snowden mess, showed that they can’t be trusted, instead of operating innocent to proven guilty they went for scatter gun approach of spying on everyone, whether they suspected them or not.

    And please don’t link this to refuges, we have plenty of home born idiots, no need for imported ones. My favourite dish in Indian (curry is pretty much our national dish), etc etc, what we count is British, is very much here because of refuges. I am proud to be British, a country that accepts multi-culturalism, lets not ruin that by petty fear. Incidentally I am white middle class.

    We need to get past all this mess and have a sensible discussion about what the security services really need to do their jobs and not what they would like just in case.

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