MI5/F Branch

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Group.png MI5/F BranchRdf-icon.png
Formation1941
Parent organizationMI5
LeaderMI5/F_Branch/Director
Typeintelligence agency
Interestscounter-subversion

History

In its earliest incarnation, F Branch was responsible for preventive intelligence in the MI5 organisation of 1916.[1]

A new F Division covering counter-subversion was established by Director General Sir David Petrie in 1941.[2]

In Dick White's 1953 re-organisation, F Branch had responsibility for counter-subversion at home, while E Branch was responsible for counter-subversion in the British Empire and Commonwealth.[3]

In 1976, Director General Michael Hanley established a separate FX branch to deal with Irish "terrorism". Its director continued to report to the director of F Branch.

Structure

F1

Responsible for investigating the Communist Party of Great Britain, according to Stephen Dorril.[4]

  • F1/O - Assistant Director in charge of monitoring the CPGB and other subversive organisations, i.e head of F1 section.[5]
  • Charles Elwell, served as F1/0 from April 1974 until his retirement in May 1979.[6]
  • Bill Ruckstan, section head, c.1981-83.[4]

F2

Responsible during the early 1980s for investigating trade unions and the production of Box 500 reports, according to Stephen Dorril.[7]Responsible for investigating the Communist Party, according to Nick Fielding and Mark Hollingsworth. This may reflect a confusion with F1.[8] According to Stephen Dorril, F2 worked closely with the Civil Contingencies Unit during strikes.[9]

F2A

Responsible for monitoring the CPGB.[16]

F2C

Engaged in studies of the Communist Party, which were often used as training for new officers.[18] At some point it replaced F1A as the section designation for this activity. It was itself replaced by F1C.[19]

F2N

Trade Unions[21]

F2R

The media, education, Members of Parliament.[22]

  • F2R/1 - Responsibilities c. 1984 included monitoring subversion in the peace movement.[23]

F3

Terrorism, excluding Irish Terrorism.[24]

F4

Counter-subversion agent-running, according to Christopher Andrew.[27]

F5

Irish "terrorism", (loyalist).[28]

FX

In the early 1980s, according to Stephen Dorril, FX controlled F4 and F6. Focussed on long-term infiltration of agents and informers.[32]

F4

Responsible for Counter-subversion agent-running.[34] Trade unions and Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB).[35]

F6

Trotskyist and radical organisations.[38]

F7

Investigated Trotskyist, anarchist, feminist, pacifist, black power, nationalist and other radical groups. Also fascists.[40] Among the organisations infiltrated by F7 were the Workers Revolutionary Party and the Socialist Workers Party.[41]

F8

Served as London headquarters for MI5's Belfast station after the winding up of the Irish Joint Section in 1984.[43]

  • G/02 (De Silva report cipher) - Head of the agent-running section, probably F8, February 1987.[44]

People

Officers


References

  1. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.84.
  2. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.236.
  3. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.327.
  4. a b Stephen Dorril, The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, Mandarin, 1994, p.485.
  5. Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.591.
  6. Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.669.
  7. Stephen Dorril, The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, Mandarin, 1994, p.485.
  8. Mark Hollingsworth and Nick Fielding, Defending the Realm: Inside MI5 and the War on Terrorism, Andre Deutsch, 2003, p.34.
  9. Stephen Dorril, The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, Mandarin, 1994, p.7.
  10. Chapman Pincher, Treachery: Betrayals, Blunders and Cover-Ups: Six Decades of espionage, Mainstream Publishing, 2012, p.100.
  11. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.281.
  12. Mark Hollingsworth and Nick Fielding, Defending the Realm: Inside MI5 and the War on Terrorism, Andre Deutsch, 2003, p.34.
  13. Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.660.
  14. Stephen Dorril, The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, Mandarin, 1994, p.485.
  15. Stephen Dorril, The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, Mandarin, 1994, p.8.
  16. Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.274.
  17. Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.278.
  18. Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.561.
  19. Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.334.
  20. Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.277.
  21. Stephen Dorril, The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, Mandarin, 1994, p.486.
  22. Stephen Dorril, The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, Mandarin, 1994, p.486.
  23. Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.674.
  24. Stephen Dorril, The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, Mandarin, 1994, p.486.
  25. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.690.
  26. Stephen Dorril, The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, Mandarin, 1994, p.486.
  27. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.498.
  28. Stephen Dorril, The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, Mandarin, 1994, p.486.
  29. Stephen Dorril, The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, Mandarin, 1994, p.195.
  30. Stephen Dorril, The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, Mandarin, 1994, p.486.
  31. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.699.
  32. Stephen Dorril, The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, Mandarin, 1994, p.486.
  33. Stephen Dorril, The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, Mandarin, 1994, p.486.
  34. Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.498.
  35. Stephen Dorril, The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, Mandarin, 1994, p.486.
  36. Stephen Dorril, The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, Mandarin, 1994, p.486.
  37. Julia Pirie, The Telegraph, 28 October 2008.
  38. Stephen Dorril, The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, Mandarin, 1994, p.486.
  39. Stephen Dorril, The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, Mandarin, 1994, p.486.
  40. Stephen Dorril, The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, Mandarin, 1994, p.486.
  41. Stephen Dorril, The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, Mandarin, 1994, p.8.
  42. Stephen Dorril, The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, Mandarin, 1994, p.486.
  43. Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.700.
  44. Sir Desmond de Silva, Volume 1 - Chapter 6: The recruitment of Brian Nelson, Pat Finucane Review, 12 December 2012.
  45. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.558.