Andrew Parker, head of the British MI5 security service, warned Tuesday that “more terrorist activity is coming at us, more quickly’ and it can be harder to detect.” Speaking in London, the spy chief said: “That threat is multi-dimensional, evolving rapidly and operating at a scale and pace we’ve not seen before.”
Twenty attacks had been foiled in the last four years, including seven in the last seven months, he said. All were related to what he called Islamist extremism. The five that got through this year included attacks in Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge. More than 130 Britons who traveled to Iraq and Syria to fight with so-called Islamic State had died.
“The threat is more diverse than I’ve ever known,” Parker went on to say. “Plots developed here in the UK, but plots directed from overseas as well. Plots online. Complex scheming and also crude stabbings; lengthy planning but also spontaneous attacks. Extremists of all ages, gender and backgrounds, united only by the toxic ideology of violent victory that drives them.”