12 Islamist terror plots thwarted in the UK since March 2017, says spy chief

Posted on: May 14th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — Authorities have thwarted 12 Islamist terror plots in the United Kingdom since the Westminster attack in March 2017, bringing the total number of foiled attacks in the country since 2013 to 25, the head of the U.K.’s domestic intelligence agency said on Monday.

Even though ISIS has lost ground in Syria and Iraq, the U.K. and the EU will have to work together for years to come to tackle the extremist group, said MI5 chief Andrew Parker, describing the tempo of attack planning as “unprecedented.”

“Europe faces an intense, unrelenting and multidimensional international terrorist threat,” Parker said in a speech at an event in Berlin hosted by Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence service. “Daesh [another name for ISIS- continues to pose the most acute threat, but al-Qaeda and other Islamist terrorist groups haven’t gone away. With the police, we are also actively monitoring the trajectory of extreme right-wing terrorism.”

Since 2016 seven European countries — the U.K., Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Sweden and Finland — have seen 45 attacks, he said. The latest took place two days ago in Paris, where an assailant killed one civilian with a knife. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack via its Amaq news agency.

Parker also described the Russian government as a “hostile” actor, saying it has chosen to pursue “greatness on the world stage” through “aggressive and pernicious actions by its military and intelligence services.”

“Instead of becoming a respected great nation, it risks becoming a more isolated pariah,” he said, highlighting Russia’s support for the Syrian government, its annexation of Crimea and its meddling in elections in the U.S. and France as behavior that is “not acceptable.”

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