Russia, Daesh threaten EU: UK spy chief

Andrew Parker, chief of UK spy agency MI5

Russia and the terrorist group Daesh are the two main threats that the European Union (EU) faces today, UK spy agency MI5’s chief Andrew Parker will warn in rare public speech later on Monday.

In a speech titled Hybrid Threats, the British spymaster will tell a meeting of European security chiefs in Berlin that Russia risks becoming a pariah nation for its “flagrant breaches of international rules.”

He will accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government of pursuing “aggressive and pernicious actions by its military and intelligence services” and creating a "fog of lies and half-truths" to hide them, according to excerpts from the speech. 

Parker, who will be the first MI5 chief to give public address abroad, will bring up the recent nerve agent attack against Russian double agent Sergei Skripal to warn his counterparts against similar “deliberate and targeted malign activity” by Russian agents in their countries.

Skripal and his daughter were found unconscious in March outside a mall in the English city of Salisbury. They remained in critical condition until early April.

London insists that Moscow was behind the attack because the attackers had used the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok. Russia has firmly denied the accusation.

The case has triggered a major response by Western countries, which have taken unified action and collectively expelled Russian diplomats from their respective embassies. Russia has responded by taking reciprocal measures.

Parker will thank European allies for taking sides with London in the issue.

Daesh still a threat

Parker will also address lingering fears of terror attacks by Daesh, in a time that the group sees no chances of survival after crushing defeats within the borders of Iraq and Syria.

The group, according to Parker, has aspirations to commit “devastating” and “more complex” terror attacks across Europe in a bid to open new fronts.

To counter these threats, the EU needs to step up intelligence sharing and tighten security measures, he will suggest.

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