Spy chief: Islamist militants pose biggest threat to Britain for decades

October 29, 2015 13:43

LONDON - Britain's domestic spy service chief said Islamist militants pose the biggest threat to the country that he had seen in his 32 years in intelligence, as he called for new digital surveillance powers to keep Britons safe.

Andrew Parker, head of MI5, said again that militants are planning mass casualty attacks, and the threat was "on a scale and at a tempo that I have not seen before in my career", according to a transcript of a speech delivered on Wednesday.

His remarks coincide with Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron's plans to bolster the powers of spies and police.

"(Islamic State) uses the full range of modern communications tools to spread its message of hate, and to inspire extremists, sometimes as young as their teens, to conduct attacks in whatever way they can," he said.

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