Terrorism fight draining resources from UK’s spies
LONDON: Britain’s intelligence services are strained and struggling to cope with the threat posed by foreign spies after focusing their efforts on fighting international terrorism, an influential parliamentary committee warned Tuesday.
In its annual report, the Intelligence and Security Committee said the threat from espionage had not disappeared when the Cold War ended. It warned that countries such as Russia and China were still intent on stealing industrial secrets.
“We remain concerned that, because of the necessary additional effort allocated to counterterrorism by the security service, significant risks are inevitably being taken in the area of counterespionage,” the report said.
The committee interviewed Prime Minister Tony Blair, several of his ministers and the heads of Britain’s intelligence agencies to compile its report.
It warned that the recruitment pool for extremist groups was growing and that if terrorists became more sophisticated, Britain might not be able to defend itself. ap