Sky News has revealed that the majority of convicted terrorists who were imprisoned since the September 11 attacks that took place more than 15 years ago are back on Britain’s streets.
The news network explained that about three-quarters of the 583 people imprisoned on charges of terrorism in the years that followed the September 11 attacks have served their prison sentences and have been released from prisons in the United Kingdom. It added that many of these people still believe in the radical beliefs that had landed them in prison.
British sources revealed that about “two-thirds of those released refused to engage with prison de-radicalisation programmes aimed at addressing their extremist behaviour. The release of these 418 terrorists, most of whom belong to the Al-Qaeda generation, is placing a heavy burden on the shoulders of British police which is already stretched to the limit dealing with the threat posed by the terrorist organisation ISIS.”
In addition to this, MI5’s Director General Andrew Parker said on Monday that police and intelligence services had foiled 12 terror plots in the last three years. According to comments that he made and that were published on the network’s website, Parker said that “Today the most visible threat is from terrorism and in particular that posed by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – ISIL – or Daesh in Syria.” He continued by saying that “Together with MI6 (the foreign intelligence service), GCHQ (the security agency), and the police, MI5 has disrupted 12 plots in the UK since June 2013.”
In the first interview by a serving head of MI5 in its 107-year history, Andrew Parker said that at a time when most of the focus was on Islamic extremism, concealed action from other countries was a growing danger, and that the most prominent of these countries was Russia. He added that Russia “is using its whole range of state organs and powers to push its foreign policy abroad in increasingly aggressive ways – involving propaganda, espionage, subversion and cyber-attacks. Russia is at work across Europe and in the UK today. It is MI5’s job to get in the way of that.”
MI5’s Director General said that Russia still had many intelligence officers on the ground in the UK, but that the advent of cyber-warfare means that the situation is different to that during the Cold War. He also mentioned that some of Russia’s targets include military secrets, industrial projects, economic information and government and foreign policy.