More Islamification of England. Al Qaeda is preparing children in the UK to be terrorists… Bombs-r-Us coming to a store near you…
Al Qaida has begun methodically “grooming” children and young people to carry out terror attacks in Britain, the head of MI5 has warned.
In his first public speech since becoming director general in April, Jonathan Evans said the Security Service now knew of at least 2,000 individuals who posed a “direct threat to national security and public safety” because of their support for terrorism.
However, he said that MI5’s efforts to counter the terrorist threat were being hampered by the continuing need to divert resources to tackle “unreconstructed” spying by old Cold War adversaries such as Russia and China.
Addressing the Society of Editors Conference in Manchester, Mr Evans said that the number of individuals identified as having links with terrorism had risen by 400 since the last assessment by his predecessor, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, a year ago. And MI5 suspected that there could be another 2,000 whom they knew nothing about, he said.
Mr Evans warned that the terrorist problem had not yet reached its peak and he endorsed Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s assessment that Britain was facing a “generation-long challenge” to defeat it.
“Terrorist attacks we have seen against the UK are not simply random plots by disparate and fragmented groups,” he said.
“The majority of these attacks, successful or otherwise, have taken place because al Qaida has a clear determination to mount terrorist attacks against the United Kingdom. This remains the case today, and there is no sign of it reducing.”
Mr Evans highlighted the way that al Qaida was targeting vulnerable young people as terrorist recruits, with teenagers as young as 15 and 16 years old having been implicated in terrorist plots. “As I speak, terrorists are methodically and intentionally targeting young people and children in this country,” he said. “They are radicalising, indoctrinating and grooming young, vulnerable people to carry out acts of terrorism.”
Mr Evans said that the terror plots were being directed from a widening range of countries beyond the tribal areas of Pakistan where al Qaida’s “core leadership” was based. There were now signs that al Qaida in Iraq was seeking to promote attacks outside that country while terrorist training and planning against the UK was being carried out in war-torn Somalia.
Mr Evans said it was a matter of “some disappointment” that MI5 was still having to deal with “unreconstructed attempts” at spying by countries like China and Russia – which still had the same number of undeclared intelligence officers in the UK as it did during the Cold War. “They are resources which I would far rather devote to countering the threat from international terrorism – a threat to the whole international community, not just the UK,” he said.
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