Monday, 5 November 2007

News:Director General Speaks of a Need For Continued Perseverance

Source: MI5 Website

Jonathan Evans, the Director General of the Security Service, gave a speech at the Society of Editors' conference in Manchester on 5 November 2007 in which he provided an update on the terrorist threat and spoke about the need for perseverance and strategic thinking in the continuing fight against international terrorism.

Mr. Evans highlighted the need to protect young people from radicalisation and indoctrination by violent extremists.

Mr Evans said "The violence directed against us is the product of a much wider extremist ideology, whose basic tenets are inimical to the tolerance and liberty which form the basis of our democracy. So although the most visible manifestations of this problem are the attacks and attempted attacks we have suffered in recent years, the root of the problem is ideological."

He expanded further his view by saying "Because the ideology underlying Al Qaida and other violent groups is extreme. It does not accept the legitimacy of other viewpoints. It is intolerant, and it believes in a form of government which is explicitly anti-democratic. And the more that this ideology spreads in our communities, the harder it will be to maintain the kind of society that the vast majority of us wish to live in."

Following his predecessor, Eliza Manningham-Buller comments regarding about the increased threats by Al Qaida inspired terrorists in which she identified around 1,600 individuals who MI5 believed posed a direct threat to national security and public safety, Mr Evans now said that figure today would be at least 2,000.

He focused his speech on the growth of the 'Al Qaida franchise' including Somalia and a new grouping called 'Al Qaida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb' based in North Africa.

He also remarked on the unfortunate diversion of key resources away from vital counter-terrorist work by ongoing Russian espionage activity in the UK.

For further information on his key note speech you can read more on Address to the Society of Editors by the Director General of the Security Service, Jonathan Evans

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