Sharing intelligence across Europe more necessary than ever, head of MI5 warns

Written by Nicholas Mairs on 14 May 2018 in News

In a rare intervention, Andrew Parker will ramp up the call for European intelligence chiefs to keep a united front against the Kremlin’s “aggressive and pernicious actions”

Sharing intelligence across Europe is more necessary than ever in order to tackle the growing threats of Islamist terrorism and Russian activity, the head of MI5 will warned.

In a rare intervention, Andrew Parker will ramp up the call for European intelligence chiefs to keep a united front against the Kremlin’s “aggressive and pernicious actions”, while preventing “devastating and more complex attacks” from Daesh.

His comments come as part of a plea to UK and European leaders not to weaken cooperation following Brexit, with both sides yet to finalise the future security relationship.

The speech comes days after reports of a row between the EU and UK on future British involvement in the Galileo satellite programme – and claims that ministers are poised to ban companies from sharing sensitive information with the bloc if they are excluded.

Addressing the 30-strong Counter Terrorism Group in Berlin - the first time a serving head of MI5 has given a public speech on foreign soil – he will say that “in today’s uncertain world we need that shared strength more than ever”.

Parker will add that “European intelligence cooperation today is simply unrecognisable to what it looked like five years ago” and must continue.

Elsewhere he will point to the European-wide Counter Terrorism Group as the “largest multinational counter-terrorism enterprise in the world” where “real-time intelligence sharing” involves “thousands of exchanges on advanced secure networks every week”.

On the “intense and unrelenting international terrorist threat” from Islamist extremists, Parker will say that he is “confident about our ability to tackle these threats, because of the strength and resilience of our democratic systems, the resilience of our societies and the values we share with our European partners”.

The intelligence chief will also praise Europe’s response to the attempt to kill Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, by expelling “scores of Russian diplomats”.

And he will explicitly point the finger at Moscow for the first time, while calling on nations “to shine a light through the fog of lies, half-truths and obfuscation that pours out of their propaganda machine”, used by the Putin regime following the attack.

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