MI5 at breaking point over growing threats, says security minister

Assaults from all types of enemy, including cyber criminals, organised crime bosses, neo-Nazi right-wing extremists and terrorists, were leaving MI5 "stretched", security minister Ben Wallace has warned.
Mr Wallace said Britain's security services are in urgent need of investment as the country comes under attack from a growing number of threats.
Acts of hostility such as last year's Novichok poisonings in Salisbury are not "one-offs", he warned, but are instead becoming even more sophisticated.
Mr Wallace also revealed that nearly 600 investigations by the security services are currently "live".

MI5 'stretched' by growing threats, warns Mr Wallace. (PA)
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, he said: "What keeps me awake at night is that the maxim that we have to be lucky all the time, they only have to be lucky once.
"We’re under assault from all types of enemy – sophisticated cyber criminals, organised crime bosses, terrorists and hostile states – relentlessly picking away at us, targeting us and using all the facilities that the 21st Century has to offer to attack our values and our people," Mr Wallace said.
"Security at home and abroad doesn't come cheap and we are going to have to invest in that and continue.
"We are going to need to do more if we are to keep one step ahead of those threats.

Military personnel wearing protective suits after the Novichok poisoning of Sergei Skripal (Getty Images)
"In this game you are also trying to see what's over the horizon. For us to continue to keep pace, we're going to have to grow with it."
Mr Wallace, who has been security minister since 2016, told the paper that the security services are currently dealing with hundreds of active investigations.
He also warned that while the vast majority of terrorist plots against the country are by Islamic State and al Qaida, the threat of the so-called lone actor was growing.
Mr Wallace told the Commons Defence Committee earlier this year that some "individuals are starting to pose significant danger".

Emergency services tending to the wounded after the June 3 terror attack on London Bridge (PA)
He said: "Historically, in the past, they had no friends, they sat on their own, they couldn't talk to anyone else - now they live in a virtual safe space.
"They communicate through the internet ... sometimes we find them actually looking at Isis (IS) terror manuals to learn how to make bombs - obviously for a different reason."
"What’s worrying is the rapid growth of organised crime because of the things like smartphones and encryption. Their ability to organise better means that we have to invest to face that issue," he continued.
"If we are going to carry on keeping people safe in the way we have been doing it compared to many countries, we’re going to need to invest. MI5 and the police are stretched, we are stretched because there are only so many hours in the day to deal with the growing threats such as neo-Nazi Right-wing extremism."
"The change that has happened is that the far-Right have copied Islamic State – how to echo an event, often twisted, often inaccurate, to serve as a rallying cry for their cause."
The Home Office allocated £728 million for counter-terrorism this financial year, but Mr Wallace said it will not be enough in future due to the historically high threat level.
Last month, Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced the Government was preparing the way for a new espionage Bill to crack down on "hostile state" activity.
Mr Javid said reviews carried out in the wake of the Salisbury nerve agent attack had revealed "real gaps" in existing laws.

Source: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/mi5-stretched-to-breaking-point-by-threats-from-terrorists-cyber-criminals-and-neonazi-extremists-a4157246.html


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