MI6 chief warns Russia not to underestimate UK

Alex Younger to say spy agency will continue working with partners in Europe after Brexit.

The head of the U.K.’s spy agency will challenge Russia on its “malign behavior” and its stance of “perpetual confrontation,” in a speech to be delivered Monday.

MI6 chief Alex Younger, also known by the codename “C,” will tell “Russia or any other state intent on subverting our way of life not to underestimate our determination and our capabilities,” according to excerpts of the speech seen by POLITICO.

Younger will also tell students at St Andrew’s University, where he will deliver the speech, that MI6 will continue to work with partner agencies in Europe to strengthen “indispensable security ties” after Brexit.

“C” will also stress the need for “fourth generation espionage” that utilizes tech innovations such as artificial intelligence to respond to emerging hybrid threats, telling students that Britain’s adversaries are taking advantage of the blurred lines between the cyber and physical worlds, but that the U.K. is well-equipped to counter these threats.

The rare address, Younger’s second public speech in the four years since he was appointed, is a pitch to recruit a new generation of spies.


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British citizen jailed for spying pardoned by UAE

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt says he is ‘grateful’ for the UAE’s decision.

The United Arab Emirates on Monday pardoned and released Matthew Hedges, who was jailed for life after being convicted on spying charges.

Before the announcement, UAE officials played a video in which the British national confessed to being a member of the United Kingdom’s M16 intelligence service, according to Reuters.

Hedges was arrested at Dubai International Airport in May after a two-week research trip to the UAE. In an Abu Dhabi court last week, he was sentenced to life in prison for spying.

The UAE president issued the pardon as part of a “gracious clemency” of more than 700 prisoners to mark the country’s National Day, according to a statement from state news agency WAM.

U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Twitter that the move was “fantastic news.”

“Although we didn’t agree with charges we are grateful to UAE govt for resolving issue speedily,” Hunt wrote.

Hedges’ wife Daniela Tejada told BBC Radio 4 that she was “happy” and “relieved” at the news. “It’s been an absolutely nightmarish seven months already and I can’t wait to have him back home,” she said.


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