ISIS terrorist group is still Britain’s biggest terror threat warns MI5 chief
Article RadarTHIS ARTICLE CONNECT:
- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Islamic State is still the biggest threat facing Britain and was behind four in five terror plots in the West last year, the chief of MI5 warned today.
Andrew Parker said home-grown extremists are being inspired by the ‘startling pull’ of the jihadi group’s propaganda despite its last stronghold in Syria collapsing.
He told how ISIS still has the ‘ability to perpetuate misery through launching large-scale attacks’ because its extremist ideology does ‘not require territory to survive’.
Mr Parker, 55, who has led MI5 since 2013, told the Evening Standard: ‘Of the multiple terrorist threats facing the UK, Islamist terrorism remains the most acute.’
The father-of-two also revealed 80 per cent of plots thwarted in 2018 were by people inspired by ISIS ideology but who had never been in contact with it in Syria or Iraq.
He added: ‘We also know that, despite their losses, IS’s remaining members are intent on directing terrorist attacks around the world, including on European soil.
‘And this ambition is shared by Al Qaeda, whose desire and capability to attack the West hasn’t diminished while IS has been in the spotlight.’
His comments come after a man claiming to be ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appeared for the first time in five years in a video, vowing a ‘long battle’ was ahead.
The man also said the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka which killed more than 250 people were ‘part of the revenge’ that awaits the West.
Despite claims about his death in recent years, al-Baghdadi’s whereabouts remain a mystery. Many of his top aides have been killed, mostly by US-led coalition air strikes.
He is among the few senior ISIS commanders still at large after two years of losses that saw the self-styled ‘caliphate’ shrink to a tiny speck in the Euphrates River valley.
The man accepted ISIS had lost the war in Baghouz, its last sliver of territory, which was captured last month by the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.
The fall of Baghouz marked the militants’ territorial defeat and the end of their self-declared Islamic caliphate over parts of Syria and Iraq.
The man said that the battle for Baghouz demonstrated the ‘barbarism and brutality’ of the West and the ‘courage, steadfastness and resilience of the nation of Islam’.
With a £19 million US bounty on his head, al-Baghdadi is the world’s most wanted man, responsible for steering his organisation into the mass slaughter of opponents.
The man in the video bragged his group had carried out 92 attacks in eight countries to avenge the loss of territory in Syria, citing Sri Lanka, Libya and Saudi Arabia.
Source: Daily Mail