“Thankfully, assassinations are incredibly rare,” she said, partly because of the huge efforts the Security Service puts in the thwart them. “MI5 is interested in state-sponsored, state-backed activity and we look at that in terms of the intelligence we receive.”
Britain expelled dozens of Russian diplomats as a consequence, but Director K said: “Russian state activity – not Russia itself – remains a threat.
“We would prefer that was not how Russia chose to engage with the world. It is also in Russia’s interests to have positive relations with the world.”
‘I look at where can do our utmost to prevent harm’
Similarly, Director K called out the ransomware attacks that threatened to bring parts of the NHS to its knees in 2017, and which was blamed on North Korea as another example of rogue states threatening the very fabric of society.
The shift away from an international rules-based order alarms her. However, she dismissed the idea that Russia will only step back into line once Vladimir Putin is either forced from office, resigns or dies.
“They are really…