Yesterday Home Secretary Priti Patel publicly confirmed the existence of the joint state threats assessment team (JSTAT) based in MI5's headquarters at Thames House in London.
MI5 HQ, Thames House: Photo Tripadvisor
Created in 2017, JSTAT provides analysis on the hybrid state threats to the UK and UK interests and informs the government’s response including an ongoing review of relevant legislation to assess whether additional powers are required.
Threats to national security covered include espionage, assassination, interference in the UK’s democracy, threats to the UK’s economic security and the UK’s people and assets overseas.
Patel said:”We continue to face a very real and serious threat from states who seek to undermine and destabilise this country to pursue their own agendas.
“It is vital that we continue to gain a deeper understanding of the wide-range of threats we face in order to take robust action to protect our national security.
“JSTAT has enhanced our capabilities and understanding of the state-based threats we face and will continue to do so in order to protect us at home and abroad.
“The decision to publicly avow JSTAT has been taken in order to maximise its utility to the national security community, enabling greater engagement with stakeholders, industry and academics.
“It will also allow for broader communication of the threats to government departments and agencies, as well as partners across the private and charitable sectors, ensuring they have access to information to better protect themselves.”
JSTAT reports to a governance board of senior officials from across the UK intelligence community and wider government departments with the Director General of MI5 having ultimate responsibility for the organisation.