The director general of Britain’s Security Service, Andrew Parker, said the exposing of intelligence techniques had given fanatics the ability to evade the spy agencies.

He used his first public outing since taking over at MI5 to launch a scathing attack on the Snowden leaks.

It comes at a time when the UK is facing its gravest terror threat, including from “several thousand” Islamist extremists who are living here and want to attack the country, Mr Parker said.


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