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The Deputy DG is responsible for the operational activity of the service, being responsible for four branches; international counter-terrorism, National Security Advice Centre (counter proliferation and counter espionage), Irish and domestic counter-terrorism and technical and surveillance operations.

The service is directed by the Joint Intelligence Committee for intelligence operational priorities.

MI5 acquired many additional responsibilities during the war.

Most significantly, its strict counter-espionage role blurred considerably.

is the United Kingdom's domestic counter-intelligence and security agency and is part of its intelligence machinery alongside the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and Defence Intelligence (DI).

MI5 is directed by the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), and the service is bound by the Security Service Act 1989.

In post-war years, attention turned to attempts by the Soviet Union and the Comintern to surreptitiously support revolutionary activities within Britain.This specialisation was formalised prior to 1914 and the beginning of World War I, with the two sections undergoing a number of administrative changes and the home section becoming Directorate of Military Intelligence Section 5 (MI5), the name by which it is still known in popular culture.The founding head of the Army section was Vernon Kell of the South Staffordshire Regiment, who remained in that role until the early part of the Second World War.It was consistently successful throughout the rest of the 1910s and 1920s in its core counter-espionage role.Throughout World War I, Germany continued trying to infiltrate Britain but MI5 was able to identify most, if not all, of the agents dispatched.

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