The Bluffer's Briefing: Espionage

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Earliest account: Numbers, Ch 13. On instructions from the Lord, Moses sent agents 'to spy out the land of Canaan'.

Report of agents: 'They are stronger than we.'

Action taken: agents smitten with the plague before the Lord.

First book: The Ping-Fa (Art of War) by the Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu around 400BC.

Sun Tzu's five types of secret agent: agent in place, double agent, deception agent, expendable agent, penetration agent.

Whatever happened to MI1, MI2, MI3, and MI4?: Believed to be post codes in Middleton. Further information unavailable.

The Security Service: formerly MI5, answerable to the Home Secretary, director-general known as 'K'.

The Secret Intelligence Service: formerly MI6, answerable to the Foreign Secretary, director-general known as 'C'.

MI8: American cryptographic bureau in the Second World War.

MI9: British organisation for planning prison-camp escapes in the Second World War.