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M Mouths Reality of UK Terror Threat

09 December 2016 | Updated 01 January 1970

MI6's Alex Younger, Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service (or M is you are a fan of Bond movies) has been in post for just over two years.

The Service has never before had a public face, much less held a press conference or made interview material available. However, Younger believes that although security risks are stark, it is his role to assure the public that the country really does have international agents deep under cover along with the technology and tools to back them up.

At his press conference week ending December 09, Younger said that the intelligence services, working in tandem with the police and other security agencies, have stopped twelve terrorist plots in just over three years. As a number of those agencies put that figure higher, it is to be presumed that Younger was alluding to major acts that were well formed in their planning.

Younger used the phrase 'hybrid warfare', which he said emanated Iraq and Syria and other parts of the Middle-East and included cyber-terrorism and the ability to galvanise support via the dark web. He said: "The risks at stake are profound and represent a fundamental threat to our sovereignty. IS has a highly organised external attack planning structure to organise attacks on the UK and its allies without ever having to leave Syria."



"Encountering terrorism, some of our agents operate in the most dangerous and hostile environments on earth," said Younger with regards to agents in the field. "They know that the result of being identified as an MI6 agent could be their death. But they do what they do because they believe in protecting their country - and religion - from the evil that Daesh and other terrorist organisations present."


Know your enemy

Younger was also adamant that in Iraq and Syria in particular, those working to counter terrorism and extremism should be more definite about who is who. He said: "In defining as a terrorist anyone who opposes a brutal regime one can alienate precisely that group that has to be onside if the extremists are to be defeated."

Picture: MI6's Alex Younger, Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service who in the Bond movies would be referred to as M but in reality would sign documents as C in accordance with a tradition set down by Mansfield Smith-Cumming, the first director of MI6

Article written by Brian Shillibeer | Published 09 December 2016


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