MI5: Al Qaeda in Syria planning mass attacks on the West

MI5: Al Qaeda in Syria planning mass attacks on the West

Al Qaeda militants in Syria are plotting attacks to inflict mass casualties in the West, possibly against transport systems or “iconic targets”, the head of Britain’s MI5 Security Service said on Thursday.

Speaking after gunmen killed 12 people in an assault on a French satirical newspaper, MI5 boss Andrew Parker warned a strike on the United Kingdom was highly likely. …

In the speech, planned before the killings in Paris, Parker said seasoned al Qaeda militants in Syria aimed to “cause large-scale loss of life, often by attacking transport systems or iconic targets” in the West. …

Thursday’s stark warning from one of the West’s most influential spymasters mirrors a growing concern among Western political leaders and their Arab allies about the threat from the cauldron of militant groups in Syria and Iraq.

Parker said around 600 British extremists had traveled to Syria, many joining the militant group which calls itself “Islamic State” and has taken control of swathes of Iraq and Syria.

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