D Branch is the division of MI5 responsible for non-terrorist threats and protective security, including counter-espionage. It is one of four operational branches which report to the Deputy Director General of the Security Service.
The designation 'D Branch' has been applied to a variety of functions over the course of MI5's history.
The earliest version of D Branch was created in 1916, shortly after the foundation of MI5, to cover imperial and overseas (including Irish) intelligence.
By 1929, MI5 had been reduced to two branches, A and B. In 1938, D Branch was re-established with responsibility for protective security in munitions, aircraft factories and dockyards.
In Dick White's 1953 re-organisation of the Service, D Branch became the division responsible for counter-espionage. From 1965-1970, Hugh Fraser worked for D Branch, where he "ran agents against Russian diplomats serving in Britain in an effort to establish whether they were actually KGB agents".
In 1968, Michael Hanley was appointed head of D Branch, and carried out a re-organisation which led to its replacement with MI5 K Branch.
In MI5's organisation as of 1994, D Branch had been re-established. Its current incarnation includes elements of the former C Branch, F Branch and K Branch.
- D1: Vetting of non-MI5 personnel.
- D4: Counter-espionage. Targets include Russia and China.
- D5: D Branch agent runners.
Employee on Wikispooks
- ↑ Michael Smith, The Spying Game, Politico's, 2003, pp.129-130.
- ↑ Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.84.
- ↑ Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.127.
- ↑ Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.134.
- ↑ Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.327.
- ↑ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1334494/Hugh-Fraser.html
- ↑ Peter Wright, Spycatcher: The Candid Autobiography of Senior Intelligence Officer, Viking, 1987, pp.332-334.
- ↑ Mark Hollingsworth and Nick Fielding, Defending the Realm: Inside MI5 and The War on Terrorism, André Deutsch, 2003, pp.320-321.