In Brief

Russia and Isis present twin threats - MI5

Andrew Parker says cooperation between UK and European intelligence agencies needed now ‘more than ever’

The head of MI5 warned today of the “intense and unrelenting international terrorist threat” in Europe, and said the security service had thwarted attacks on Britain at a rate of one every month since the Westminster attack in March 2017.

Andrew Parker, the intelligence agency’s director general, told European security chiefs in Berlin that while Islamic State has been expelled from its former strongholds of Raqqa in Syria, and Mosul in Iraq, the terrorist group is still plotting to “direct devastating and more complex attacks” against civilians in the West. 

Europe has already suffered 45 attacks since 2016, according to The Guardian.

Cooperation between European intelligence agencies would need to be stepped up, Parker said: “In today’s uncertain world, we need that shared strength more than ever.”

He reassured allies that “MI5’s commitment to European collaboration was unconditional”, reports The Times.

Russian threat

Making his first public comments since the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury this year, the spy chief also took aim at Russia, accusing the Kremlin of “deliberate, targeted, malign activity intended to undermine our free, open and democratic societies”. 

Under Vladimir Putin, he said, the Russian government had engaged in “unprecedented levels” of “aggressive and pernicious actions”, committing flagrant breaches of international rules that amounted to “criminal thuggery”.

There is a need “to shine a light through the fog of lies, half-truths and obfuscation that pours out of their propaganda machine”, Parker said.

The Russian embassy in London suggested that it was Britain that was known for its fogs.

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