Britain’s spy chief has warned that ISIS plans to take advantage of Europe reopening for Christmas to carry out more deadly terror attacks.
Aiden Dean, the head of MI6, told the International Security Week Conference that ISIS are ‘plotting Christmas terror attacks across Europe’ to coincide with the easing of lockdown restrictions. ‘I’m afraid I’m not bearing good news’, said the veteran spy, ‘But we need to be worried about the wave of terror that is coming from northern Syria and Libya this Christmas’.
‘The promise of no lockdown Christmas has made it a more attractive timeframe for targetting’, said Dean, who previously spent eight years probing extremist group Al-Qaeda before a US intelligence leak blew his cover. ‘Already they have been thinking about it, and I feel this will be their next target’.
Following recent high profile attacks in Austria and France, Britain is currently on a ‘severe’ threat level for terror attacks. Home Secretary Priti Patel has confirmed that this new level of alert means the country is actively anticipating imminent attacks, as seen recently across France and in Vienna in recent weeks.
Dean said the risk of attacks this December was particularly acute in France, where ISIS is ‘looking to avenge’ the publication of Charlie Hebdo magazine’s cartoons satirising the prophet Muhammad. Recently the country was shaken by the grisly murder of a Paris high school teacher, who was beheaded by a teenage extremist for showing the cartoons in his classroom.
The spy chief says that the leader of ISIS, Abu Omar al-Shishani, is planning to send extremists from their bases in Libya and northern Syria into Europe via Turkey and the Meditteranean.
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