MI5 chief warns of young Britishers turning terrorists

Written on:June 26, 2023
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'Young British men turning to terrorism', warns MI5 chief

Jonathan Evans, director-general of the security service MI5, has warned that young British men are heading to new terror training grounds in North Africa and the Middle East, to train for attacks on the UK.

The head of the intelligence agency said the terror group is establishing itself in those countries after being disrupted in Afghanistan and Pakistan. “A small number of British would-be jihadis are also making their way to Arab countries to seek training and opportunities for militant activity, as they do in Somalia and Yemen. Some will return to the UK and pose a threat here. This is a new and worrying development and could get worse as events unfold”, he disclosed.

In a speech entitled ‘The Olympics and Beyond’, the inaugural Lord Mayor’s defence and security lecture in London, Evans issued this warning and cancelled all leave for his staff in the run-up to the London Olympics and made the Games security operation a priority.

“The Games present an attractive target for our enemies and they will be at the centre of the world’s attention in a month or so. No doubt some terrorist networks have thought about whether they could pull off an attack”, Evans said.

The MI5 chief warned that the death of Osama bin Laden and the disruption of al Qaeda did not mean the British terror threat had evaporated. The MI5 chief also highlighted the extent of the new threat to cyber security to business and government. He warned there were concerns over developments in Iran and the uncertainty over its nuclear intentions.

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