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BRITISH secret services have been accused of ignoring 15 years of stark warnings over the threat of a possible global pandemic, it was revealed today.
The uncontrollable spread of a novel flu virus was identified as the “gravest risk” to British security back in 2008, by the government’s own National Risk Register.
Yet analysis by Declassified UK, a website investigating British government foreign policy, claims that there is no evidence of the nation’s intelligence services having specialist teams working on medical threats such as pandemics.
Furthermore, no head of MI5 or MI6 has ever publicly mentioned the threat of a global pandemic.
However, both have made a number of public statements on the alleged terror threat from Russia.
In 2017, MI5 chief Andrew Parker warned the public of a “multidimensional threat” evolving “at a scale and pace we’ve not seen before,” referring to terrorism from Islamist extremists and Russia.
The site pointed out that more Britons have died from Covid-19 in the last few weeks than from terrorist acts over the last two decades.
In contrast, the US has a medical intelligence unit within the CIA, giving Congress daily updates on the spread of the virus.
Paul Rodgers, an emeritus professor of peace studies at Bradford University, told Declassified UK that a “rethinking of what we mean by security” is needed.
“That doesn’t just mean the overall role of the armed forces and whether vast capital projects like aircraft carriers are in any sense worth funding, but must extend to the security and intelligence organisations too,” he added.
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