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British intelligence chief: Terror threat in Britain lessened

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The head of Britain's intelligence organization, MI5, says that the terror threat in Britain has receded after a string of successful prosecutions, reports the BBC, in the first interview ever given by the director of the secretive agency.

In remarks published Wednesday, agency head Jonathan Evans says 86 terror convictions since January 2007 have dampened the enthusiasm of plotters.

"That has had a chilling effect. We have probably seen fewer 'late-stage' attack plans over the last 18 months," he said.

Mr. Evans warned that terror networks still have the capacity to strike within Britain, and that the global financial crisis could create new unforeseen tensions, says The Guardian.

"There is a significant number of individuals in active sympathy. They are doing things like fundraising, helping people to travel to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia. Sometimes they provide equipment, support and propaganda."
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