The Bureau of Operations was one of many bureaus within Imperial Intelligence, and along with the rest of the organization, survived the fragmentation of the Galactic Empire, for the most part, largely intact. It was the only bureau in the Imperial Intelligence to be called the "Bureau". The Bureau handles the covert operations which are beyond the scope or require greater resources than those of the average system cell. The Bureau may send in a team of specialists to a sector, in effect creating an at-large system cell, or they may send a few agents to augment an already existing system cell for a single mission.
The Bureau is broken up into six distinct divisions:
Surveillance was a small branch of the Bureau, which they took as a point of pride, as their cousin division within COMPNOR's Imperial Security Bureau was huge in comparison. Imperial Intelligence has less than one agent in Surveillance for every seventy so dedicated in the ISB, yet Surveillance successfully keeps watch on more serious threats to the Empire than does the ISB.
Surveillance is able to sort through information and unerringly select suspects who are currently involved in anti-Imperial activity. Surveillance agents are thoroughly briefed on everything which is known about the suspect. Often more than one agent is selected for an important case, and Surveillance actively solicits the help any available system cells.
Surveillance agents are well trained in a broad variety of skills, including combat skills. They are expected to handle situations by themselves in the field - there is not likely to be enough time to call in backups. Surveillance agents are expected to make arrests if the suspects will get away with a critical crime, and if arrest looks untenable, stop the suspects in any way the agent can.
Infiltration agents are often reassigned to Intelligence, assigned as assistants to a few sector branches, and then assigned to Sedition (Intelligence Bureau). The agents learn vast amounts during this period. Many agents have to be released because of the overuse of mnemiotic drugs given to agents to enhance their learning. Those who survive with their minds intact know a great deal.
Once finished with their assignment to Intelligence, agents are often then tested to see for what sort of missions they are best suited - double agents, moles, or "polwocz."
Double agents are active operations, taking part in enemy actions against the Empire. Their job is to give Imperial Intelligence good enough information to allow the Empire to do greater damage to the Rebellion than the double-agent's operations do to the Empire.
A mole is inserted behind the lines, to transfer important ingellience about enemy activites when the opportunities arise.
A polwocz is an agent who is to be used just once, at a critical moment when his use can be devastating to the enemy.
Renik is the counterintelligence branch of the Bureau, specializing in identifying and dismantling enemy spy operations. If a particular spy operation is considered to be potentially useful, Renik hands over all information on the enemy operation to Infiltration, which takes it from there. If the enemy group is considered insignificant or too dangerous to allow continued operations, Renik destroys it.
Diplomatic Services (DiploServ)Edit
Diplomatic Services is the catch-all branch of the Bureau. It provides a sizable portion of the personnel for trade and diplomatic missions found in Imperial garrisons, as well as political experts for planetary governments and Moffs. Many of these personnel are well trained and expected to perform only their overt duties, with the exception of reporting their action to Imperial Intelligence. Others are more clandestine agents, some sent on specific anti-Republic missions, but most sent to establish and organize system cells within their area of influence.
Known as "the quiet branch," no one hears much about Destabilization. Destab has been known to move from what agents consider legitimate intelligence operations to full-fledged atrocities. Officially, Destab is the branch which specializes in "taking the frabic which holds a people, society or government together and unraveling it." Agents from other branches suggest Destab's methods more closely resemble shredding.
Assassination is a branch which is wholeheartedly embraced by agents of other branches; assassination has long been a legitimate means of removal of key members of the opposition for intelligence agencies. Assassination's agents are trained to take every advantage, to use every trick and subterfuse possible; in short, to weight the contest as much in favor of the assassin as possible.
Assassination has been careful to select only those targets for which mission success is probable. It is a tribute to their highly trained agents that the actual success ratio is higher than the theoretical one.
After the fragmentation of the Empire, shortly after the death of Emperor Palpatine, Imperial Intelligence remained intact on Imperial Center. However, just months later, Imperial Center would fall to the newly-found New Republic in the Battle of Coruscant, and Imperial Intelligence flocked to the Interim Ruling Council, set up on Dreven and currently under the leadership of Warlord Tagger.
The Director of the BofO was a very influential position in Imperial Intelligence, and even what remained of the Empire, occupying a seat of its own on the Interim Ruling Council, alongside the Director of Imperial Intelligence. The Director of BofO had anywhere from three to seven Vice Directors beneath him.
When the Empire was re-organized in 8 ABY under the recently coronated Emperor Bacharan Valak, most of Imperial Intelligence was reduced in favor of COMPNOR, and the Bureau suffered in return. DiploServ itself was liquidated in 12 ABY, though was returned in 14 ABY under Grand Admiral Danik Kreldin, and most of Imperial Intelligence was revitalized.