Chief of Defence Staff: Jihadists ‘Hiding in Plain Sight’, Western Democracy Under Threat

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Britain’s most senior professional military officer has given a stark warning on the dangers of radical Islam, the migrant crisis, and cyber-security in a wide-ranging and major address in London. Appointed as Chief of the Defence Staff — the professional head of Britain’s armed forces and top military adviser to the Prime Minister — in summer 2016, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach GBE KCB ADC DL used a traditional Christmas lecture to warn of the threats facing the United Kingdom. Speaking at the annual lecture given by the incumbent Chief of the Defence Staff at the Royal United Services Institute on Whitehall, ACM Peach said while the Islamic State was being beaten on the ground in the Levant, they were moving their operatives to Europe. He said: “as we examine the threats and risks we face, I worry about the global reach of [The Islamic State] as an idea. Copycats using the internet, using social media, and popping up all over the world… this is no longer a localised phenomena. It is a wider phenomena. “And of course we face, as my friend [the director-general of MI5] has said, a potential network of combat experienced terrorists. On the other hand they are losing territory