The Imperial Security Bureau, also called Imperial Security, abbreviated ISB, was a key intelligence organization of the Galactic Empire under Emperor Palpatine. It was separate from, larger than, and often rival to Imperial Intelligence, until it was absorbed into Imperial Intelligence following the dissolution of COMPNOR in 19 ABY.
The Imperial Security Bureau was established in 19 BBY as a branch of COMPNOR to act as a counterweight to Imperial Intelligence, and it became the Emperor's all-pervasive secret police organization. In addition to operating as a standard intelligence agency, the ISB was a part of the Commission for the Preservation of the New Order, or COMPNOR, charged with maintaining morale and loyalty among members of the Imperial military. Lord Crueya Vandron, one of Palpatine's closest advisors, was effectively the head of both COMPNOR and the ISB.
The ISB stationed moles among the officers of all capital ships in the Imperial Navy; their duty was to report on any possibly treasonous activities or sentiments present among others of the ship's crew (especially the commander), and to execute them if they acted upon them. The ISB served more of a police function than Imperial Intelligence, with a more public presence. ISB operatives were not afraid of identifying themselves as ISB agents.
The ISB Central Office was a mammoth complex in Imperial City. All communication and coordination was handled through the Central Office. The ISB also was responsible for wiping out any memories of the Jedi Order. For instance, they destroyed the collection of Jedi antiquities on Obroa-skai.
Securing an Empire Edit
The ISB survived the fragmentation of the Empire during the Post-Endor Imperial power struggle largely intact. All of COMPNOR remained fanatically loyal to the Empire, along with the Interim Ruling Council, and this was put to good use by the Council and its leaders, especially Bacharan Valak, who elevated COMPNOR and its ISB through the Imperial heirarchy, while downsizing Intelligence and the Bureau of Operations.
As of 15 ABY, the Imperial Security Bureau is still active, rooting out anti-Imperial activities in the newly reorganized and largely expanded Empire. With the emergence of Emperor Vadim, ISB has begun focusing its efforts on ensuring that the Imperial Military remains loyal to this new Emperor and his decrees. Task Force Inquisitor's Korynn Fleming has become a key asset in maintaining COMPNOR's check on the military, as director of ISB and CompForce assets for the Task Force.
The Bureau was directly involved with the lockdown on Corellia that unveiled the Corellian Corruption Scandal to the galaxy. They worked with quick resolve to shut down the potential coup of Danik Kreldin. This culminated in the capture and justice of almost every person involved with Kreldin's scheme, and ultimately, the destruction of the Kreldin Estate on Corellia, the siezing of the family assets, and the utter ruin of the family name within the Empire. An example for other would-be traitors.
Near the end of 18 ABY, Korynn Fleming had been placed in charge of COMPNOR. Due to the continued threat of fracturing within the Empire, he activated a series of social restructuring mandates. The first phase of the operation involved demanding that all Imperial citizens check in with their local ISB checkpoints every two standard days. Similarly, servicebeings in the Imperial Military were required to check in with their Commissar at the start of every third duty shift. Failure to adhere was immediately met with the strongest of repercussions. Immediate, on the spot arrests, and often summary executions, would take place, as a throwback to the Tarkin doctrines.
When Emperor Vadim was killed in 19 ABY, Fleming activated a secret protocol designed to wipe out those within the Empire who had been deemed at risk of treason or sedition. Over 300,000 Imperial citizens and servicebeings were killed in mass-assassinations by ISB agents, within the confusion and anarchy that took place with the Empire's defeat. This final purge laid the groundwork for the final dissolution of ISB into Imperial Intelligence, which took place alongside the eventual dissolution of COMPNOR.
Commission of OperationsEdit
The Commission of Operations was responsible for passing on the directions of the Central Office directly to the Sector Officer for each of the various ISB branches. All coordination between the different branches within a sector, or between Bureau resources in separate sectors, was dictated by the Commission of Operations. In 19 ABY, it was assimilated into the Ubiqtorate.
The Office of Naval Strategic Operations, also known as ONSO (on-so) was the main subdivision of the Commission of Operations charged with overseeing the affairs of the Imperial Navy. As of 14 ABY, Commissioner Halcyon DeFor was the ONSO Director. In 19 ABY, it was assimilated into the Ubiqtorate.
Surveillance was the largest branch of the ISB, with nearly 35 percent of all personnel in the Bureau. The quality of agents in Surveillance, however, was not always great. A good portion of Surveillance agents were candidates straight from the Sub-Adult Group, but these were poorly trained, albeit eager and promising. The rest were made up of properly trained CompForce Observors, agents from Progress's Sector Monitor, Improvement's Sector Development, and local contacts aiming to subvert other local powers.
Surveillance was tasked with uncovering beings or activities helpful to the Rebellion or that may obstruct the Empire's plans. Many of Surveillance's targets are later turned over to Investigations for more thorough action. Surveillance was also responsible for instilling fear of the Empire into its citizens, so that they would think twice before assisting the Rebellion.
Investigations was the skillfully superior branch of the Imperial Security Bureau, when compared to Surveillance. Many Modification agents and proven agents from Surveillance made up Investigations. Agents of Investigations were always in direct communication with the Imperial Military, allowing them to call on a massive amount of firepower and resources should the situation require it, so they could take down Rebel threats with considerably faster response time and effectiveness.
Investigations was also responsible for planting sleeper-agents, or "moles", into territories outside of Imperial Space. These sleeper-agents are often more heavily concentrated in areas designed as enemy territory, such as New Republic planets, but it also operates agents everywhere from the friendly Corporate Sector Authority to the Deralian Confederal Union, even Hutt Space. These agents, the most covert of them all, would only make contact with their Sector Directors if absolutely necessary. Often, if a sleeper-agent felt he couldn't withdraw from enemy territory safely after delivering critical information, he would commit suicide in order to cover any potential tracks, further proving the depth of COMPNOR fanaticism.
The Internal Affairs branch was the group responsible for watching COMPNOR, another example of multiple layers of control and authority overlapping one another in the Galactic Empire. Science, Commerce and Justice groups within the Coalition for Progress, and the Enforcements branch of the ISB, were all key targets of Internal Affairs.
It is unknown whether or not the Internal Affairs division had the authority to monitor the Select Committee, though it is known that they did not consider the Select Committee to be above suspicion.
Due to COMPNOR's ambiguity in regards to rules and procedures for policing its own members, Internal Affairs was able to take advantage of the situation to expand their power. Affairs agents were isolated from the rest of COMPNOR and had thus developed their own jargon and their own interpretation of the New Order. Other branches of COMPNOR complained about the uutonomy of Internal Affairs and their actions, but neither Crueya Vandron nor Palpatine ever made attempts to stop it, as they apparently supported the work of Internal Affairs.
Internal Affairs called their field agents "keyns," while they called their investigative staff "dirtbugs." The division also developed their own collection of terms to differentiate between the ways they conducted a specific investigation.
To "audit" was to conduct an investigation in which the target and everyone around him knew the investigation was being conducted.
"Finesse" was conducting an investigation by asking the target's help in rooting out other traitors in the hopes they would give away incriminating evidence in their eagerness to point the finger at others.
"Scattering" was the method of grabbing someone whom you have no evidence of foul play of, and then observing the behavior of the person's associates to see if any of these react in suspicious ways.
"Crustbusting" was the method of harassing a suspect in the hopes he would do something criminal.
"Cultivation" was the method of allowing a suspect with only minor wrongdoing to proceed unhindered so agents would catch the suspect and any associates in a larger crime, and "irrigation" was covertly staging events so a "cultivated" suspect would have a greater opportunity to commit a larger crime.
Finally, to "Jabba" was to set a suspect up in a no-win situation in which he must commit a crime. The Internal Affairs agent would then promise to forgive the crime if the suspect did a few favors; favors which inevitably caused the suspect to commit some other crime.
Almost every prisoner of war, capital criminal, or dissident taken into custody by the Imperial Military or ISB is sent to the Interrogation branch. Interrogation is critically reputed at being able to glean information out of almost any prisoner, by utilizing a complex and varied series of interrogation and torture methods. Almost every subject, once their interrogations are included, would simply disappear... and nobody outside Interrogation was really willing to find out just what happened to them.
Re-education is arguably the most secretive and dastardly of ISB's branches. Sentients who are sent to re-education range from rebel sympathizers and criminal citizens to COMPNOR members convicted of criminal acts by Internal Affairs. Inside the hidden, secret re-education facilities, subjects are essentially brainwashed, and forced to accept New Order ideals, or die from psychological trauma in the process.
After a successful re-education, the subject is usually inserted or re-inserted into COMPNOR, in a position of low importance. It was reported that these individuals acted strangely when returned, their conversation disjointed, and their emotions out of phase with the situation. They were called "Graduates of Re-Education" or "Re-education" officially, but amongst other members of COMPNOR, it was said they were "Re-brained."
Re-education, however, is only reserved for those subjects deemed by ISB as worth the effort. In some cases, such as with many rebel prisoners or coup leaders like Danik Kreldin, ISB would decide that re-education was simply not worth the effort and finance involved, where a simple execution would be more appropriate, not to mention financially sensible.
The Enforcement branch provided specialized muscle for the ISB. They occasionally operated for Internal Affairs, but most often they were working for Investigations. Enforcement was the only division within all of COMPNOR that hired beings who were not members of COMPNOR, which earned the suspicion of the Internal Affairs division, who were worried the use of unindoctrinated personnel was too risky.
Nevertheless, Enforcement was thus able to increase the amount of available talent, and perform operations the Select Committee would rather not be performed by COMPNOR members. In addition, Enforcement did its best to protect its operatives from unwarranted interferences from the Internal Affairs division, though a permanent tension existed between the two groups that no one could avoid.