Britain’s spy agencies are rehiring former employees in order to tackle terrorism, The Telegraph reported.
GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 are all rehiring staff that were previously laid off in $1.6 billion worth of budget cuts. GCHQ monitors communications, MI5 covers internal intelligence while MI6 deals with foreign threats.
GCHQ has rehired 200 staff, MI5 has taken back seven former officers and MI6 is welcoming back 73 ex-spies.
However, MPs have criticized the hirings as “very poor value for money.”
“Whilst it may always be necessary to re-hire some former staff in exceptional circumstances,” members of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee said in last year’s report, “this should be kept to a minimum given the potentially significant costs involved.”
In October 2017 the head of MI5 warned that Britain faces its most severe terror threat ever.
“It’s at the highest tempo I have seen in my 34-year career,” Director General Andrew Parker told press. “Today there is more terrorist activity, coming at us more quickly, and it can be harder to detect.”
Meanwhile, the UK has admitted that they have lost track of hundreds of jihadis that left the UK to fight for terrorist groups across the Middle East. Of the estimated 850 Brits who left to fight, about half have returned to the UK. However, Security Minister Ben Wallace admitted that the government “doesn’t know where” the rest are that are.
The government assumes that some have been killed fighting while others (an estimated 300) have escaped to Turkey. The whereabouts of the rest are unknown.