MI5's Early Years

Introduction to MI5's Early Years

Established in 1909 as the Secret Service Bureau, MI5 and MI6 soon grew from modest beginnings to become professional and effective intelligence agencies. MI5, founded by Captain (later Major General) Vernon Kell, played a central role in the capture of most of Imperial Germany's intelligence agents in the UK at the start of World War I.


The establishment of the Secret Service Bureau
How and why MI5 was established, and the role of Vernon Kell in founding the Service

MI5 in World War I
The round-up of the German spy network and MI5's wartime expansion

Carl Hans Lody
The story of how MI5 captured a German spy in Britain in 1914

Latest News

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MI5 Director General Ken McCallum gave his annual threat update at Thames House on 14 July 2021.

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The first elements of the new Counter Terrorism Operations Centre (CTOC) in London have been unveiled.

Fact or Fiction

MI5 and SIS do basically the same thing, but in different places
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