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UK compiles the list of hostile countries

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London claims China, Russia, and Iran can and do conduct “big scale” operations.

Russia, China, and Iran, according to UK Secretary of State for Security Damian Hinds, are the most openly hostile states to the UK due to their intelligence and cyberattack capabilities.

Mr Hinds adds that the subject matter is “obviously very heavy and at times harrowing,” referring to the terror plots and extremist material that come across his desk.

Terrorism isn’t the only threat to UK security; geopolitical power conflicts are also on the increase.

When asked to list the three most flagrant hostile nations facing Britain, Mr Hinds names “China, Russia, and Iran”. That triumvirate was named by MI6 chief Richard Moore in his first public interview, which he gave to the BBC last month.

“The three countries that I mentioned to you have physical human capability, they have a big cyber presence, they’re able to deploy at scale,” Mr Hinds adds.

He points out that, in addition to disinformation tactics, Moscow, Beijing, and Tehran’s hostile behavior includes the presence of spies and soldiers on standby.

“They can run, and do run, information ops and are involved in multiple different ways. I mean, it’s difficult to give you a comprehensive list because there are so many potential ways.”

North Korea is a fourth hostile state on the radar, according to Mr Hinds.

However, the UK’s relations with these adversarial countries are delicate, particularly with China, which is poised to challenge America as the world’s dominating force in the twenty-first century.

He further highlight: “There has been a growth in extreme Right-wing terrorism. More young people coming on to the Prevent program have an extreme Right-wing mindset.”

But he goes on: “Islamist extremism terrorism, though, remains a potent threat. And we also have quite a few people who you might describe as having a sort of mixed or unclear or unstable mindset.

“Sometimes [they are] looking at flirting with different ideologies, different groups, sometimes apparently mutually exclusive – very, very different types of ideology.”

“We have to see obviously what happens in Afghanistan in the future,” he says, adding a final note of caution.

“Clearly, it has been a source of huge, huge risk in the past and we need to be vigilant about that into the future.”

Image Credit: Getty

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