THERE are no guarantees that this summer’s Olympics won’t be targeted by terrorists, Britain’s spy chief has said.
In a rare public speech just a month before the Olympic Games begin in London, Jonathan Evans, the director-general of MI5, said there was no doubt that some terrorist groups had considered whether they could pull off an attack.
He also warned that Britons are increasingly heading to the Middle East for terrorist training in preparation for attacks in the wake of the Arab Spring.
It is believed that up to 200 British residents and nationals are currently in the Arab world and either involved in training camps, being radicalised or operationally active with terror groups.
Mr Evans said the Arab world was in “radical transition”.
“Today parts of the Arab world have once more become a permissive environment for al Qaida,” he said.
“A small number of British would-be jihadis are also making their way to Arab countries to seek training and opportunities for militant activity, as they do in Somalia and Yemen.
“Some will return to the UK and pose a threat here.”
Speaking at Mansion House in central London, his first public speech since September 2010, Mr Evans said Britain had experienced a “credible terrorist attack plot about once a year since 9/11”.
Mr Evans insisted the Olympics were not an easy target, but added that there was “no such thing as guaranteed security”.
“The preparations have gone well but planning for the future is always planning for uncertainty,” he said.
“The Olympic Games present an attractive target for our enemies and they will be at the centre of the world’s attention in a month or so.
“No doubt some terrorist networks have thought about whether they could pull off an attack.”
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