MI5 Chief Says Terrorist Threat to Britain Remains Grave

MI5 Chief Says Terrorist Threat to Britain Remains Grave

LONDON -- The head of the British Security Service (MI5), Eliza Manningham-Buller, who rarely makes public pronouncements, rattled off some chilling statistics Thursday about the Islamist terrorist threat to Britain. The service, she said, is investigating at least 30 top-priority terror plots.

Under surveillance are about 200 groups or networks, comprising more then 1,600 individuals "who are actively engaged in plotting or facilitating terrorist acts here or overseas," she said in a speech at Queen Mary College, London.

Her under-strength operation (despite a manpower increase of 50 percent since Sept. 11, 2001) has had to make choices about which threats to follow. "We shan't always make the right ones and we recognize that we shall have scarce sympathy if we are unable to prevent one of our targets from committing an atrocity."

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