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Does MI5 Use Guns? watch


    QUOTE=AlexanderHam;76596416]You can't seriously aspire to join both. The FBI doesn't take foreign citizens, and both MI5 and the FBI expect you to have lived in the country for the previous five to ten years before joining.

    MI5 typically does not use guns; they are not a military or law enforcement agent. I'll explain MI5's division of labour as it might help you to understand the organisation you aspire to join. A person who works for MI5 is not a "spy" but an intelligence officer.

    First and possibly most important type of intelligence officers at MI5 are case officers. A case officer is a person who goes out into the field to recruit sources. A foreign intelligence (MI6) example will explain it best. If MI6 needs to get hold of a document that they know is sitting in a safe in a building in a foreign country, instead of sending some ninja MI6 officer to break in, they would ordinarily have a case officer recruit an 'asset' or agent who works in the building.

    The case officer might try to recruit a cleaner, or perhaps a junior executive, to get hold of the document for them. Perhaps there is a disgruntled employee who was passed over for promotion, or they are going through a messy divorce and are deep in debt. A case officer's bread and butter is being adept at persuasion, having emotional intelligence, understanding what motivates people. Their job is to recruit sources to spy for them, and provide information, and they do this by understanding mental/emotional pressure points. People who "spy" (i.e. provide information to case officers) do so for many reasons, like disgruntlement, revenge, ideology, money. A good case officer knows how to assess a person's motivations and weaknesses, and use this to recruit them. This person might not even realise the intelligence officer is working for MI5; they might think they are just a new friend who came along at the right time, or a journalist, or some other person who would have reason to know and talk to them.

    MI5, just like MI6, has case officers and these are the frontline in securing "human intelligence" (intelligence information derived from recruited human sources rather than, say, surveillance). To be a case officer, you will be expected to have reasonably good grades, to have a good understanding of politics and current events, and also to be able to demonstrate a certain comfort and skill in dealing with people. MI5 officers do not go around shooting people or engaging in car chases, it is much more about using intelligence (in the mental sense) and subtlety rather than brute force.

    The second group of intelligence officers are the analysts. These are the people who are collating all the information from various sources, including information collected by the case officers from people they recruited, and synthesing this information into analytical products, reports and the like. Analysts need to have good grades and often will be a subject matter expert, for example a financial expert or an Arabic speaker or something like that. They sit behind a desk in headquarters and are often the ones who provide the initial information that allows a case officer to target a potential source.

    The third group are the technical/surveilance officers. Despite all the advancements in technology, being able to put someone under physical surveillance and tail them discreetly, is something we still have to do. These guys are the ones who will follow a possible terrorist suspect or suspected Russian intelligence officer. They are also involved in planting listening devices and cameras in the cars, homes and businesses of targets of surveillance. Those people with computer/hacking skills would also come under this group, although a lot of that work is done by GCHQ.

    MI5's role is a domestic one. They have no police powers and generally don't operate overseas. They have three main responsibilities. The first is counterterrorism; investigating and surveilling possible terrorists, recruiting sources inside terrorist networks here in the UK, placing agents inside radical mosques or inside far-right nationalist groups. Preventing bombings and attacks in London is a major focus for MI5, and they work closely with the police on that.

    MI5's second main focus is counterintelligence. That is detecting and preventing espionage against the United Kingdom by foreign powers. They try to discover foreign intelligence officers in the United Kingdom, and a topical example is that they would be following Russian intelligence officers operating under diplomatic cover at the Embassy, attempting to recruit possibly cleaners or other staff at the embassy, and also investigating penetrations of UK government organisations (for example, if it was suspected Russia had recruited a civil servant at the Cabinet Office, MI5 would investigate).

    MI5 also has a responsibility (much reduced since the end of the Cold War) for investigating subversive activity; anarchists, extreme environmentalists and the like. Finally, they provide some support to the police in investigating organised crime where MI5's particular skills and expertise (in human intelligence, in electronic surveillance etc) could be of use to the police.

    Intelligence organisations tend to weed out people they think have a "James Bond" mentality, or people going into it for the wrong reason. They tend to recruit people who are astute, sensible and risk averse. They also must recruit people who have unquestioned loyalty to the United Kingdom. Thus, your comment that you'd join either MI5 or the FBI, and your interest in guns, would probably be red flags for them.[/QUOTE]

    Best essay on TSR i've seen so far.

    (Original post by interact)
    I was thinking of applying to mi5 but I was told that bcos I’m a Muslim I will be planted with something and killed.
    Told by who? An Islamist fundamentalist? And you believed it?

    MI5 and MI6 are extremely interested in recruiting patriotic Muslims. Such people are vital to our security; increasingly, the intelligence services realise that they can't just recruit white, male Oxbridge classics graduates. The services must reflect the country as a whole.

    Patriotic Muslims are actually quite a high recruiting priority for the intelligence services. They would be not poisoned but welcomed.

    What gives me pause is that you would actually take such conspiracy nonsense seriously. If you believe that there is a government conspiracy against Islam then MI5 is probably not the right organisation for you.

    (Original post by RedGiant)
    Best essay on TSR i've seen so far.
    Thank you, sir. I like sharing knowledge and having other people share their knowledge; that's what it's all about.

    (Original post by NFI)
    Just a shame the pay is pretty poor!
    It's true, the pay is not great but they get a lot of applications so they are still able to choose the best and brightest.

    MI6 in particular still often gets the cream of the crop from Oxbridge. If you get first-class marks in Arabic or Russian at Oxford then being 'headhunted' and invited for lunch by a serving intelligence officer to discuss a career is a very distinct possibility. It happened to a friend of mine who was studying Russian, although he ended up pursuing a career in the law.

    Although the pay is not exceptionally good by the standards of what MI6 / MI5-calibre candidates might get in the private sector, it's also fair to say they will have a very interesting career doing important work and serving their country. Oh and many do go into very lucrative private sector roles after serving fifteen or twenty years; going to work for a Saudi prince as head of security or setting up a training organisation to help train and build up the intelligence agencies of developing countries can be very lucrative and allows them to accrue a nice little buffer for their pension years.

    They also continue to serve their country during their private sector years because any information they find out in those roles still comes back to their old buddies at Vauxhall Cross
    • Community Assistant

    Community Assistant
    You do know they are agencies of different countries right?
    Not to mention if you tell any interviewer you only want the job to get a gun you'll be blackballed [one hopes]

    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    It's true, the pay is not great but they get a lot of applications so they are still able to choose the best and brightest.
    They can only choose from the best that apply though and many of the best people will follow the money so a trick is being missed. Of course it's the same across the whole public sector so the pay will never be able to compete with the private sector.
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