The head of MI6 has warned that the Islamic State group is reorganising for more attacks despite its military defeat in Syria.
Alex Younger, the UK’s intelligence chief, also told of his concern about jihadists returning to Europe with “dangerous” skills and connections.
They should expect to be investigated and possibly prosecuted, he said.
His comments come after Shamima Begum, a teenager who ran away to join IS, said she wants to return to the UK.
Ms Begum, now aged 19 and pregnant with her third child, said she had no regrets about travelling to Syria in 2015 but wanted to have her baby in Britain.
Mr Younger told the Munich Security Conference that so far the return of IS militants had proved a “completely manageable problem”, but he warned that it was complex and unpredictable.
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“We are very concerned about this because all experience tells us that once someone has put themselves in that sort of position they are likely to have acquired the skills and connections that make them potentially very dangerous,” he said.
As IS faces the loss of its last strongholds in Syria, Mr Younger said it was likely to return to “asymmetric” terrorist attacks, rather than conventional warfare, and it would be harder for spies to penetrate the group now.
The organisation has proved itself “adept at inspiring attacks rather than directing them”, he said….