Andrew Parker, Chief of MI-5, gave his first public speech since accepting the position of Director General of Military Intelligence Section 5 last April. The speech was delivered to the Royal United Services Institute in London.
Parker discussed various topics today and downplayed recent events in Ireland that suggest a revival of the Irish Republican Army. He stated that even though there have been great gains since the Good Friday Agreement which marked an end to widespread violence, his organization will still have to contend with those on both sides unwilling to end the violence.
He congratulated efforts that have disrupted a “majority” of the planned violence while downplaying reports of a reorganization of Republican groups, going on to say…these ragged remnants of a bygone age are in a cul-de-sac of pointless violence and crime with little community support. We will continue to work with the police to put these thugs and killers in front of the courts.
After highlighting the UK’s threat from Islamic extremists, Parker went on to express fears that Ex-CIA contractor Edward Snowden’s leaks have given paramilitaries an unfair advantage.
It causes enormous damage to make public the reach and limits of GCHQ techniques. Such information hands the advantage to the terrorists. It is the gift they need to evade us and strike at will.
The GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) is the British equivalent to National Security Agency of the United States. Snowden’s leaks of GCHQ documents number around 58,000.