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Britain's spy chief reveals 12 terror attacks thwarted in 2017

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Britain's intelligence today disclosed that the UK's security forces had thwarted at least 12 terrorist attacks directed against the country since the Islamic State (ISIS) claimed strike on the building in March last year.

During an address to a meeting of European intelligence chiefs in today, also warned that continues to aspire to commit "devastating" attacks in after losing territory in and

"Daesh (ISIS) still aspires to direct devastating and more complex attacks despite territorial losses and threats from Al Qaeda and other Islamist terror groups have not gone away," he said in his speech titled 'Hybrid Threats'.

He said: "Whilst Daesh has now lost its false caliphate in its strongholds in and Iraq, tackling the group as a movement will require sustained international focus for years to come. As I speak today, they are seeking to regroup, and the threat seems likely to persist.

"Islamic State have been blamed for (attacks) that's upset a lot of Al Qaeda affiliated groups who want to get back into high-level, sophisticated attacks like they did with the 9/11 attacks, because they see Islamic State getting the "

In December last year, Parker had revealed that nine terrorist attacks had been prevented by the UK's and police since 52-year-old drove a car into pedestrians before launching a knife attack after crashing into the side of the Parliament, killing five people on March 22 last year. Today's updated total of 12 brings the total number of disrupted attacks in the UK to 25 since 2013.

Against the backdrop of Brexit negotiations, the stressed that European intelligence agencies must rely on "shared cooperation more than ever".

"I am confident about our ability to tackle these threats, because of the strength and resilience of our democratic systems, the resilience of our societies and the values of we share with our European partners," he said.

"European intelligence cooperation today is simply unrecognisable to what it looked like five years ago," he said, highlighting that there have been as many as 45 terror attacks across since 2016.

Parker also took the opportunity to make a scathing attack on for its "deliberate and targeted malign activity".

In his first public comments since the deadly nerve agent attack in the town of on a former Russian and his daughter, Parker said that is using its spies and military to carry out "flagrant breaches of international rules".

He accused the Kremlin of "pursuing an agenda through aggressive and pernicious acts by its military and intelligence services", adding that risks becoming a "more isolated pariah" if it continues to act in the way it has.

Addressing the campaign of disinformation that followed the attack on Sergei and in March, Parker said there is a need "to shine a light through the fog of lies, half-truths and obfuscation that pours out of their propaganda machine".

While the has denied any involvement in the attack earlier this year, it has been the subject of condemnation and diplomatic sanctions from the West.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 14 2018. 17:20 IST