United Kingdom: Secret Intelligence Service (MI6)

(From Top World  Intelligence Agencies)

MI6 in the News 

The British intelligence Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), commonly known as MI6, is the oldest intelligence agency in the world. It is responsible for counterterrorism, counter-proliferation, and counter-espionage. Alex Younger has been the Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service since November 1, 2014.

Alex Younger
Alex Younger

SIS was created in 1909 in response to concerns over Germany’s imperial ambitions,. The organization was later split into home (MI5) and foreign (MI6) sections.  During World War II, MI6 trained personnel for the U.S Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor of the CIA, helping forge the British-American intelligence alliance that continues to this day.

SIS/MI6 became a household name in the 1960s with popular James Bond spy novels written by former officer Ian Fleming and the subsequent movie franchise.  The reality of the agency is not always on par with its Hollywood adaptions.

Documents found during the Libyan Revolution in 2011 revealed the role of MI6 agents in capturing Abdul Hakim Belhaj, an anti-Gaddafi fighter at the request of Gaddafi’s intelligence chief. The incident prompted an apology from Prime Minister Theresa May . The agency came under fire in 2018 when a parliamentary report found that MI6 acquiesced in the mistreatment of suspected terrorists by the United States.

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