Head of MI5: Islamist terrorism 'most acute' threat to UK

The Director General of MI5 has warned that Islamic State “propaganda” is inspiring extremists in the UK and that Islamist terrorism is still the biggest terror threat the country faces.

In an article for the London Evening Standard, Andrew Parker highlights racist terrorism and dissident Republican groups seeking to disrupt the peace process in Northern Ireland, but warns that the threat from jihadists is still the largest of all.

As he explains: “Of the multiple terrorist threats facing the UK, Islamist terrorism remains the most acute.”

Parker reveals that of the terror plots stopped by police, MI5 and Western allies in 2018, 80% were conducted by people inspired by extreme Islamist ideology but who had never been in contact with it abroad in Iraq or Syria.

“In the UK there remain individuals who are inspired by IS propaganda, despite having shown no interest in travelling to Syria”, he says.

Andrew Parker has previously revealed that there are more than 3,000 extremists in the UK, including jihadists who the government have allowed back into the country.

Last year the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, said that the “biggest threat is from Islamist terrorism” and that as many as 25 Islamist-linked plots having been stopped in the past 5 years.