Spymaster reveals Britain under siege

BRITAIN is under siege from more than 2,000 Al Qaeda-inspired terrorists, the country's top spymaster revealed this afternoon.More terror attacks are being planned in communities across Britain and MI5 is having to employ hundreds of new spooks to monitor them and to try to prevent more carnage, Jonathan Evans said.

BRITAIN is under siege from more than 2,000 Al Qaeda-inspired terrorists, the country's top spymaster revealed this afternoon.

More terror attacks are being planned in communities across Britain and MI5 is having to employ hundreds of new spooks to monitor them and to try to prevent more carnage, Jonathan Evans said.

And the threat of more attacks on the scale of the London underground and bus bombings is being hit by continuing espionage activities by Russian and Chinese spies, he told the Society of Editors Conference in Manchester.

The continuing activity of "Reds under the Beds" and other foreign spies is undermining the efforts to target would-be bombers and those who are planning more terror activities.

In his first public speech outside London, Mr Evans told delegates that there were more and more potential converts in Britain to the Al Qaeda cause and the targeted 2,000 could be matched by 2000 more people who aren't currently on the MI5 radar.

He said new investment from Government coffers meant the fight to protect the public was getting new impetus but not all potential terrorists could be monitored all the time.

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Eight regional offices of MI5, including a new base in Northern Ireland, would take the anti-terror fight, as well as the continuing battle to prevent Russian and other spies operating, across the country.

M15 will soon have 4,000 people working for it, he told 200 editors and media analysts from across the country.

Mr Evans said it "was a matter of great disappointment that significant resources were being diverted" from the counter-terrorism fight by the activities of Russian and Chinese spies and others who are fighting to uncover sensitive commercial, political and military intelligence.

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