MI5 foiled six attacks in last year, but intelligence chief warns that terrorists’ tech is beyond reach of the state

Highest number of planned attacks in three decades

Technological advances are making it easier for known terrorists to communicate with each other without being detected, the head of MI5, Andrew Parker, has warned.

The secret service boss said that Britain’s security services had foiled six terrorist attacks over the past 12 months, and said that the number of planned attacks in the UK was “the highest number I can recall in my 32-year career, certainly the highest number since 9/11.”

Speaking on the BBC’s Today programme, Parker called for technology companies to do more to assist the intelligence services, adding it was an “ethical responsibility”.

Parker said that increasingly sophisticated encryption techniques meant they are struggling to intercept messages.

“It’s in nobody’s interests that terrorists should be able to plot and communicate out of the reach of authorities,” he said.

“If we do our jobs well, we will know who most of the people are who potentially offer a threat to this country.”

But he added: “We can’t monitor them all the time.”

His comments come ahead of the government’s planned introduction of the investigatory powers bill which aims to strengthen and extend the reach the security services have.

Currently MI5 judge the threat level to Britain to be “severe”, meaning a terrorist attack is “highly likely”. It is just one step down from the top threat level, “critical”, which means an attack is imminent.  

Now read

Social Bookmarks