United Kingdom spy chief warns on threats from IS, Russia

Forensic officers searching the area around the bench where former Soviet Spy Sergei Skripal fell ill in March

The headlines today are all about a landmark speech by the head of MI5, Andrew Parker, who is heading to Berlin to give a speech on European security.

He also accused Russian Federation of "flagrant breaches" of worldwide rules, and criticised its invasion of Crimea and alleged interference in Western elections.

President Vladimir Putin claims that British allegations are "nonsense" but that Moscow is willing to cooperate with London on the probe.

The Salisbury attack saw a military grade nerve agent used on both Sergei Skripal and his daughter will be described as "deliberate and targeted malign activity from Moscow" by the MI5 chief.

Parker is expected to call for the need to "shine a light through the fog of lies. out of their propaganda machine".

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

The UK has nevertheless said it has intelligence which shows the attack on March 4, which involved a nerve agent from the novichok family of substances, was carried out by Russian Federation.

Parker will praise the global response to Salisbury, in which 18 of the 28 European Union countries agreed to support the United Kingdom in expelling scores of Russian diplomats. Russian Federation has denied involvement in the attack. He will say that "European intelligence co-operation today is simply unrecognisable to what it looked like five years ago".

In December a year ago, Mr Parker reported that nine terrorist attacks had been prevented by the security services and police in 2017.

Emphasising the scale of the job facing counter-terrorism officials, the MI5 director-general will say Islamic State continues to plot devastating attacks.

Parker, speaking to an audience made up of fellow intelligence officers, will say European intelligence partnerships have never been more crucial in combating the threat posed by Russian Federation and by the "intense and unrelenting worldwide terrorist threat".

Mr Barnier has previously declared the United Kingdom will be cut from security and defence involvement once it leaves the EU.

He praised the Counter-Terrorism Group, which groups all 28 European Union countries, Switzerland, and Norway, for its exchange of intelligence.

Related news: