Though they still retain safe havens in Pakistan and Afghanistan, jihadists are now heading to the Middle East to seek terrorist training as parts of the Arab world have "once more become a permissive environment for al Qaeda", British intelligence chief has warned.
Terming this a "new and worrying development" that "could get worse as events unfold," MI5's Director General Jonathan Evans said in a rare public speech here as his agency braces for an array of threats ahead of next month's summer Olympics.
Warning "the (Olympic) games present an attractive target for our enemies and they will be at the centre of the world's attention in a month or so," he said that efforts have been taken to ensure that the sports extravaganza did not become an easy target.
The MI chief said Iran was another source of potential concern, as the west and Israel put pressure on Tehran to abandon any nuclear weapon ambitions it may secretly harbour, The Guardian reported.
He said there had been a series of attempted plots against Israeli interests in India and Azerbaijan, as well as a plan by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to attack the Saudi ambassador in the US.