MI5/K Branch

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Group.png MI5/K BranchRdf-icon.png
Formation1968
Parent organizationMI5
LeaderMI5/K_Branch/Director
Typeintelligence agency
Interestscounter-espionage in MI5

K Branch was a former division of MI5 responsible for counter-espionage in the service's organisation from 1968. Prior to this time, this had been D Branch. [1] The re-organisation was carried out by Michael Hanley as head of counter-espionage. Peter Wright claims that he persuaded Hanley and Martin Furnival Jones to include a formal mechanism for investigating penetration of the service.[2] K branch was reincorporated into a new D Branch in the service's organisation of 1994.[3]

Organisation

Under the 1968 re-organisation, K Branch consisted of two separate units, KX and KY, each with their own director on the MI5 board.[4] KX and KY were amalgamated in 1976.[5]

Directors

KX

Responsible for investigative work, according to Peter Wright, and controlled sections, K1, K2, K3 and K7.[8]

K1

K1 and K2 were Soviet and satellite investigating sections, according to Peter Wright.[10]

K2

K3

Soviet agent-running section according to Christopher Andrew.[12] Peter Wright describes it as a research section, cut out of the old D3.[13]

K7

Section responsible for investigating Soviet penetration.[14]

KY

Soviet investigations branch, according to David Leigh.[17] Responsible for order of battle and operations, according to Peter Wright, comprising K4, K5 and K6.[18]

K4

Section responsible for investigations and analysis of Soviet residencies in London.[21] Peter Wright describes the work as 'order of battle.'[22]

  • Michael Bettaney, attempted to become KGB agent, 1983.[23]
  • K4A/1 Officer involved in Bettany case, 1983[24]
  • K4C/1 Officer involved in Bettany case, 1983[25]

K5

Joint MI5/MI6 counter-intelligence section.[26] Agent-running and operations, according to Wright.[27]

K6

Registry which held agents personal 'Y' files.[32] According to Wright, it was responsible for "all security assessments and compiling the specialist records, ministerial briefings, special indexes, and record collection which previously had been under my control in D3."[33]

K8

Section responsibilities included monitoring Chinese intelligence operations.[37]

K10

  • K10B - Counter-proliferation unit set up in 1991.[38]

Other K Branch officers


References

  1. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.860.
  2. Peter Wright, Spycatcher, Viking, 1987, p.334.
  3. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.864.
  4. Peter Wright, Spycatcher, Viking, 1987, p.334.
  5. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.861.
  6. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.715.
  7. Mark Hollingsworth and Nick Fielding, Defending the Realm: Inside MI5 and the War on Terrorism, Andé Deutsch, 2003, p.134.
  8. Peter Wright, Spycatcher, Viking, 1987, p.334.
  9. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.629.
  10. Peter Wright, Spycatcher, Viking, 1987, p.334.
  11. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.576.
  12. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.708.
  13. Peter Wright, Spycatcher, Viking, 1987, p.334.
  14. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.571.
  15. Peter Wright, Spycatcher, Viking, 1987, p.334.
  16. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.516.
  17. David Leigh, The Wilson Plot, Mandarin, 1989, p.185.
  18. Peter Wright, Spycatcher, Viking, 1987, p.334.
  19. David Leigh, The Wilson Plot, Mandarin, 1989, p.185.
  20. David Leigh, The Wilson Plot, Mandarin, 1989, p.185.
  21. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.714.
  22. Peter Wright, Spycatcher, Viking, 1987, p.334.
  23. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.714.
  24. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.719.
  25. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.717.
  26. David Leigh, The Wilson Plot, Mandarin, 1989, p.241.
  27. Peter Wright, Spycatcher, Viking, 1987, p.334.
  28. David Leigh, The Wilson Plot, Mandarin, 1989, p.242.
  29. David Leigh, The Wilson Plot, Mandarin, 1989, p.242.
  30. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.627.
  31. David Leigh, The Wilson Plot, Mandarin, 1989, p.242.
  32. David Leigh, The Wilson Plot, Mandarin, 1989, p.242.
  33. Peter Wright, Spycatcher, Viking, 1987, p.334.
  34. David Leigh, The Wilson Plot, Mandarin, 1989, p.242.
  35. David Leigh, The Wilson Plot, Mandarin, 1989, p.242.
  36. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.716.
  37. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.788.
  38. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.788.