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UK spy chief warns Arab Spring provided breeding grounds for British-born terrorists

June 26, 2012 - London

The chief of M15 has warned that the Arab Spring has provided a new generation of British-born terrorists after Al-Qaeda lured dozens of would-be bombers abroad to train for possible attacks in the UK.

The Director General of MI5 Jonathan Evans said that the terror network has taken advantage of instability in the region, in the wake of last year's revolutions, to spread its influence and create new bases for attacks.

British would-be jihadis are known to be receiving training in Libya and Egypt, mirroring what has already happened in the Yemen and Somalia.

"They could return to attack the UK in what is a 'new and worrying development', The Telegraph quoted Evans as saying.

He also revealed that the intelligence services and police are preparing for a potential threat from extremists.

Evans warned a new terror threat has emerged from an Arab world in radical transition'.

He said while the events offered long term hope there was a 'more immediate problem' as Al-Qaeda has returned to its native home.

Figures last year suggested more than 100 Britons have received training by terror groups in Somalia and it is feared as many are now being prepared for terror attacks across Yemen, Egypt and Libya.

He said the network is also active in Syria and across Mali and West Africa "where the UK has political, economic and demographic ties".


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