20 Facts About MI6


Secret Intelligence Service, commonly known as MI6, is the foreign intelligence service of the United Kingdom, tasked mainly with the covert overseas collection and analysis of human intelligence in support of the UK's national security.

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The name "MI6" originated as a convenient label during the Second World War, when SIS was known by many names.

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MI6 typically signed correspondence with his initial C in green ink.

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MI6 assisted the Gestapo, the Nazi secret police, with "the exchange of information about communism" as late as October 1937, well into the Nazi era; the head of the British agency's Berlin station, Frank Foley, was still able to describe his relationship with the Gestapo's so-called communism expert as "cordial".

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In May 1940, MI6 set up British Security Co-ordination, on the authorisation of Prime Minister Winston Churchill over the objections of Stewart Menzies.

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In early 1944 MI6 re-established Section IX, its prewar anti-Soviet section, and Philby took a position there.

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MI6 was able to alert the NKVD about all British intelligence on the Soviets—including what the American OSS had shared with the British about the Soviets.

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On one occasion in 1998, MI6 believed it might be able to obtain 'actionable intelligence' which could help the CIA capture Osama Bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda.

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On 10 January 2002, an MI6 officer conducted his first interview of a detainee held by the Americans.

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MI6 reported back to London that there were aspects of how the detainee had been handled by the US military before the interview that did not seem consistent with the Geneva Conventions.

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Shortly before the Second Battle of Fallujah, MI6 personnel visited JSOCs TSF at Balad Air Base to question a suspected insurgent.

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MI6 provided information that enabled the detachment to carry out surveillance operations.

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MI6 were involved in resolving the Basra prison incident; the SIS played a central role in the British withdrawal from Basra in 2007.

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MI6 maintained intelligence coverage of suspects as they moved from the UK overseas, particularity to Pakistan.

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In March 2016, it was reported that MI6 had been involved in the Libyan Civil War since January of that year, having been escorted by the SAS to meet with Libyan officials to discuss the supplying of weapons and training for the Syrian Army and the militias fighting against ISIS.

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In February 2015, The Daily 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.

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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.

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MI6 is known sometimes to use Government Communications Bureau as a cover name, for example, when sponsoring research.

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MI6 personnel are recognised annually by King Charles III at the Prince of Wales's Intelligence Community Awards at St James's Palace or Clarence House alongside members of the Security Service, and GCHQ.

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Year with MI6 was a public art exhibition, showing a collection of paintings and drawings by artist James Hart Dyke to mark the centenary of the British Secret Intelligence Service.

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