London, UK (BBN)-The head of MI5 has said the terror threat level facing Britain is the highest he has seen in his 32-year career.
Andrew Parker, director general of the Security Service, said six terror plots had been thwarted in the last year, reports the Sky News.
And during a speech in London on Wednesday, he also warned that so-called Islamic State (IS) is planning “mass casualty” attacks on Britain.
He described a “three dimensional threat” at home, overseas and online – with an increasing amount of MI5’s casework linked to Syria and IS.
“It (IS) uses the full range of modern communications tools to spread its message of hate, and to inspire extremists, sometimes as young as their teens, to conduct attacks in whatever way they can.”
And he warned the threat posed by IS – also known as ISIL – “shows no sign of abating” after more than 750 British extremists travelled to Syria.
Parker also highlighted that al Qaeda groups in South Asia, the Arabian Peninsula and parts of Africa remain a threat.
“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,” he added.
His remarks come days before the Government is expected to publish a draft of landmark legislation covering spies’ activities in the digital era.
And he insisted the security agencies need greater powers to keep the country safe.
“Today the conversations of our adversaries are happening on a bewildering array of devices and digital platforms, often provided by companies based overseas.
“Information gathered from the technology terrorists use, often in the same way as the rest of us, may sometimes be the only way to stop them.
“And so we need the tools to access terrorists’ communications online just as much as we intercepted written communications and telephone calls in years gone by.”