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    Undercover in MI6: what's it like to work as a spy?

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    Follow comments Enter your email to follow new comments on this article. Thanks for subscribing! Vote Are you sure you want to submit this vote? Submit vote Cancel. You must be logged in to vote. Ritter says that SIS recruited him in to help with the propaganda effort. In the months after the invasion, they also began gathering political intelligence; predicting what would happen in post-Baathist Iraq.

    In Spring , the SAS detachment operating in Basra and southern Iraq, known as Operation Hathor, escorted MI6 "case" officers into Basra so they could meet their sources and handlers and MI6 provided information that enabled the detachment to carryout surveillance operations. MI6 were also involved in resolving the Basra prison incident ; the SIS played a central role in the British withdrawal from Basra in In July it was reported that SIS has closed several of its stations in the past couple of years, particularly in Iraq, where it used to have several outposts in the south of the country in the region of Basra according to the annual report of the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee.

    The closures have allowed the service to focus its attention on Pakistan and Afghanistan, which are its principal stations. In October , SIS appealed for reinforcements and extra staff from other intelligence agencies amid growing concern about a terrorist threat from Afghanistan and that the country will become an "intelligence vacuum" after British troops withdraw at the end of The male and female jihadists are senior members of ISIS that pose a direct threat to the UK; Sources said SAS soldiers have been told that the mission could be the most important in the regiment's year history.

    Scarlett was an unusually high-profile appointment to the job, and gave evidence at the Hutton Inquiry. On 27 September , it was reported that British spies across the Balkans, including a SIS was chief officer in Belgrade and another spy in Sarajevo , were moved or forced to withdraw after they were publicly identified in a number of media reports planted by disgruntled local intelligence services — particularly in Croatia and Serbia.

    A third individual was branded a British spy in the Balkans and left the office of the High Representative in Bosnia, whilst a further two British intelligence officers working in Zagreb , remained in place despite their cover being blown in the local press. The exposure of the agents across the three capitals has markedly undermined the British intelligence operations in the area, including SIS efforts to capture The Hague's most wanted men, which riled many local intelligence agencies in the Balkans, some of which are suspected of continuing ties to alleged war criminals.

    They were riled due to MI6 operating "not so much a spy network as a network of influence within Balkan security services and the media," said the director of the International Crisis Group in Serbia and Bosnia, which caused some of them to be "upset".

    Secret Intelligence Service - Wikipedia

    In Serbia, the SIS station chief was forced to leave his post August after a campaign against him led by country's DB intelligence agency, where his work investigating the assassination of the reformist prime minister Zoran Djindjic won him few friends. On 15 November , SIS allowed an interview with current operations officers for the first time. The two officers one male and one female had their voices disguised for security reasons.

    The officers compared their real experience with the fictional portrayal of SIS in the James Bond films. While denying that there ever existed a " licence to kill " and reiterating that SIS operated under British law, the officers confirmed that there is a ' Q '-like figure who is head of the technology department, and that their director is referred to as 'C'. The officers described the lifestyle as quite glamorous and very varied, with plenty of overseas travel and adventure, and described their role primarily as intelligence gatherers, developing relationships with potential sources.

    The Squadron carried out missions that required 'maximum discretion' in places that were 'off the radar or considered dangerous'; the Squadron's members often operated in plain clothes, with the full range of national support, such as false identities at its disposal. Despite technical backup, the team landed in Libya without any prior agreement with the rebel leadership, the plan failed as soon as the team landed, the locals became suspicious they were foreign mercenaries or spies and the team was detained by rebel forces and taken to a military base in Benghazi.

    They were then hauled before a senior rebel leader, the team told them that they were in the country to find out the rebels needs and to offer assistance, but the discovery of British troops on the ground enraged the rebels who were fearful that Gaddafi would use such evidence to destroy the credibility of the NTC. Negotiations between senior rebel leaders and British officials in London finally led to their release and they were allowed to board HMS Cumberland.

    On 16 November SIS warned the national transitional council in Benghazi after discovering details of planned strikes, said foreign secretary William Hague. In a rare speech on the intelligence agencies, he praised the key role played by SIS and GCHQ in bringing Gaddafi's year dictatorship to an end, describing them as 'vital assets' with a 'fundamental and indispensable role' in keeping the nation safe.

    The speech follows criticism that SIS had been too close to the Libyan regime and was involved in the extraordinary rendition of anti-Gaddafi activists. Mr Hague also defended controversial proposals for secrecy in civil court involving intelligence material. The top-secret mission, dubbed Operation X to disguise its purpose, used modern electronic intelligence ELINT technologies to bug him along with his friends and family.

    Gaddafi had been hiding out in the desert for a month but the breakthrough came when he made two phone calls, one after the other, to say he was safe. It allowed the joint British and French bugging operation to pinpoint his location.

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    The files looked at contained "a memorandum of understanding, dating from October , detailing a two-day meeting in Libya between Gaddafi's external intelligence agency and two senior heads of SIS and one from MI5 outlining joint plans for "intelligence exchange, counter-terrorism and mutual co-operation". In February , The Telegraph reported that MI6 contacted their counterparts in the South African intelligence services to seek assistance in an effort to recruit a North Korean "asset" to spy on North Korea's nuclear programme.

    MI6 had contacted the man who had inside information on North Korea's nuclear programme, he considered the offer and wanted to arrange another meeting, but a year passed without MI6 hearing from him, which prompted them to request South African assistance when they learnt he would be travelling through South Africa. It is not known whether the North Korean man ever agreed to work for MI6. At the same time, MI5 was seeking alternative accommodation and co-location of the two services was studied. In the end this proposal was abandoned due to the lack of buildings of adequate size existing or proposed and the security considerations of providing a single target for attacks.

    The building design was reviewed to incorporate the necessary protection for the UK's foreign intelligence gathering agency. This includes overall increased security, extensive computer suites, technical areas, bomb blast protection, emergency back-up systems and protection against electronic eavesdropping. While the details and cost of construction have been released, about ten years after the original National Audit Office NAO report was written, some of the service's special requirements remain classified. The NAO report Thames House and Vauxhall Cross has certain details omitted, describing in detail the cost and problems of certain modifications, but not what these are.

    SIS allowed filming of the building itself for the first time in The World is Not Enough for the pre-credits sequence, where a bomb hidden in a briefcase full of money is detonated inside the building. A Daily Telegraph article said that the British government opposed the filming, but this was denied by a Foreign Office spokesperson. In Skyfall the building is once again attacked by an explosion, this time by a cyber attack turning on a gas line and igniting the fumes, after which SIS operations are moved to a secret underground facility.

    Madeleine Swann inside the remains of the building. Blofeld then detonated bombs planted in the building, demolishing what was left of the building fully, though Bond managed to save Dr. Swann and escape before the building exploded. On the evening of 20 September , the building was attacked using a Russian-built RPG anti-tank rocket launcher. Striking the eighth floor, the missile caused only superficial damage.

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    They include:. MI6 is nicknamed The Circus. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the foreign intelligence agency. For the UK's domestic intelligence agency, see MI5. For other uses, see MI-6 disambiguation. Secret Service Bureau. Jeremy Hunt , Foreign Secretary.

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    Alex Younger , Chief [3]. The analysis of how this budget is spent between each service is undisclosed. Main article: SIS Building. Main article: Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service. House of Commons 20 December Retrieved 1 June Retrieved 12 January SIS — MI6. Archived from the original on 15 April Retrieved 10 November Retrieved 10 July SIS website.