Royal Yisraeli Intelligence Service
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|שירות הביון הישראלי המלכותי|
Mashba (pl. Mashbanim)
|Parent agency||Ministry of Defense|
The Royal Yisraeli Intelligence Service (Modern Hebrew: שירות הביון הישראלי המלכותי), also referred to as the Mashbanim or RYIS (colloquially), is the primary foreign intelligence service of Yisrael. Its duties include all forms of intelligence-gathering, in particular gaining strategic (socio-political-economic and diplomatic) intelligence on foreign nations, gathering information on military developments overseas, coordinating actions to counter terrorism, and working with the Yisraeli special-forces and commando units in conducting black operations.
It works closely with Yisraeli Security and the border guard. In addition, it works closely with the military intelligence arm of the RYDF. It is also authorized to coordinate counter-terrorist actions and intelligence-sharing arrangements with foreign intelligence agencies. It provides analysis of collected intelligence responsible for external intelligence and espionage activities and circulates that information to the President and His Royal Majesty the King.
The RYIS has faced controversy for its use of overseas targeted killings and assassinations.
- 1 Role and mandate
- 2 History
- 3 Organization
- 3.1 Divisions
- 3.1.1 Directorate of Analysis
- 3.1.2 Directorate of Operations
- 3.1.3 Directorate of Advanced Research
- 3.1.4 Directorate of Support
- 3.1 Divisions
- 4 Operations
- 5 Relationship with the RYSS
- 6 Major operations
- 7 Relationships with foreign intelligence agencies
- 8 In popular culture
- 9 See also
Role and mandate
- Intelligence gathering: The primary general role of the Mashbanim is to collect information and extract intelligence from it for use in the offensive and defensive protection of Yisrael and its interests, policies, and national goals. This includes, broadly, the collection, analysis, evaluation, classification, and dissemination of foreign intelligence, and the performance of covert actions to retrieve and in reaction to such intelligence.
- Offensive intelligence: The pro-active "offensive" covert actions to gather and react to intelligence. This includes activities such as espionage, psychological warfare, assassinations, targeted killings, subversion, extraordinary renditions, sabotage, enhanced interrogation techniques, and the covert funding and training of foreign allies.
- Counter-intelligence: The "defensive" counterintelligence actions to counter foreign intelligence efforts against Yisrael. These include infiltration of opposing foreign intelligence services to gain information on their intelligence collection capacities, thwarting efforts of opposing services to do the same to the RYIS and other government bodies, and to manipulate these expected foreign actions through double agents and disinformation.
The Mashbanim, like its sister organization Yisraeli Security, originated from the Royal Yisraeli Secret Service, a royalist state security and secret police organization under the immediate control of the King.
The Secret Service survived the 1919 Revolution when the Constitutional Liberal leadership decided to co-opt rather than dismantle the organization by installing its own supporters as civilian oversight. However, the Secret Service internal culture often ended up "co-opting" these otherwise liberal, reformist figures, and it remained a powerful political force through the 1940s, when the Autocracy regime took control of it during its reign.
In the aftermath of the Year of Blood, the Secret Service's reputation was in tatters, and the 1952 Royal Reform Acts reorganized it into separate agencies, disjointing its foreign and domestic intelligence services and national security mandates into two independent organizations. It was believed at the time that this would severely limit the Royal Government's ability to surveil and control Yisraeli society as it had under the Autocracy in the 1940s.
Since the Yarden Accords in 1973, however, the pro-Sydalene general campaign of terror against Yisrael by domestic Christians has caused both Yisraeli Security and Yisraeli Intelligence to once again work hand-in-hand to combat this and other important threats to the Kingdom's internal security.
Aside from the threat of Christian terrorism, President Binyamin Schwartz started using the agency since the late 1970s abroad in a wider set of operations. The early 1970s Ghantish oil embargo and its resulting recession prompted Schwartz to direct the Belisarian division to develop what would become known colloquially as the "Belisarian Court Circuit" dossiers. The late 1970s and 1980s were characterized by a growing and unrestrained spy sector, and the agency developed more global contacts and conducted more operations between 1976-1984 than it had in the preceding twenty-five years.
Successive presidencies largely continued this state of affairs, increasing the RYIS's operating budget to put more agents in the field and fund more black-book operations, especially in East Scipia, as well as to monitor former-enemies-turned-neutrals in the former Sydalon Bloc such as Sydalon, Latium, and Lihnidos.
It is alleged by some agency critics and scholars in Oxidentale that the RYIS played a background role in the sudden political momentum to have Ghant join the international Mutul sanctions regime in 1993, though others doubt the veracity of these claims as unfounded paranoia and Yisrael-bashing.
The organization has not always been ahead of the game: in recent years, it has been perceived as off its peak, failing to anticipate the Charnean Year of the Triple Coup in 2000, the 2016 Latin coup attempt and the 2017-2018 Sydalene Five Months crisis, all of which took place right in its geopolitical 'backyard.'
The RYIS is headed by the Chief Inspector, a presidential appointee that must be confirmed by the Royal Knesset. By convention and practice, the RYIS director is either an experienced agency insider or a retired military commander of note.
Directorate of Analysis
The division of the RYIS that analyzes intelligence collected by human or other sources and is catalogued, reviewed, double-checked, and elaborated on for policy-making by senior Yisraeli political leadership.
Directorate of Operations
The RYIS organizes its operations by geographic areas and issues, but its exact organizational table is classified. However, through declassification, leaks, and other means, a vague image of the table can be made out. The service organizes its operations by "desk":
The highest-priority department, focused on using a combination of HUMINT, GEOINT, OSINT, SIGINT, CYBINT, FININT, and other means to safeguard the homeland and maintain vigilance in the "near-abroad" including Sydalon, the Messidor Union, Ascalzar, Talakh, Charnea, Tulura, Fahran, and Perateia (Latium), though retired operatives note that of these, the RYIS focuses on Tulura, Fahran, and (increasingly) Messidor as higher risk regions of hostile activities geared toward Yisrael, usually non-governmental.
Both contemporarily and historically, the most important desk after the Scipia Desk - especially after 1973 - as Yisraeli interests are tied heavily across the continent, and before the Yarden Accords, where a number of hostile or unfriendly Sydalon-aligned states resided. Today, major targets of the RYIS's intelligence efforts include pariah state Valgtea, the bloc of leftist regimes (e.g. North Ottonia, Ostrozava, etc.), and allied or friendly/cordial powers where anti-Yisrael interests or groups may reside or transit through, such as Latium, South Ottonia, Lihnidos, Arthurista, and elsewhere.
This department maintains the RYIS' infamous "Belisarian Court Circuit" dossiers, meticulously-researched and maintained records of the Belisaro-Ghantish royal and noble lineages, relationships, gossip, scandals, and feuds.
Despite the friendly posture between the two countries, Ghant is home to a number of supporters and sympathizers to Yisraeli Christian terrorist groups and causes, largely attributed to the Ghantish Catholic sector.
In addition, political intelligence is gathered on an array of foreign policy issues, from the support among the Ghantish for a referendum in the Yarden River Valley to the continuance of the international sanctions regime against Mutul.
Operations here are focused primarily on Mutul, a hostile state to Yisrael, and Sante Reze, a cordial/neutral state whose native corporations often engage in corporate espionage as well as its ties to Mutul vis-á-vis the sanctions regime.
Not much is known about this department, other than it monitors the Belfras-Mutul cold/proxy war in the Kayamuca Sea as well as the geopolitical tensions along the western Norumbian states of Enyama, a friendly power, Skaldafen, a hostile state, and others.
The major focus of this desk has been on the ongoing Enyaman Civil War since 2019.
Christian Terrorism Desk
This department tracks pro-Sydalene Christian terrorist groups and individuals across Scipia and the globe, often liaising with foreign intelligence services and domestic Yisraeli sister organizations such as the Shomrim.
The division has seen increased success in recent years, especially after closer coordination with royal security forces under the Ministry of Interior led by Yehudis Eisenberger (2016-2020) under former President Noah Feldman.
Allied Powers Desk
This department maintains operations in allied states' territory for any number of strategic reasons, some disclosed to the local government and others not.
Other desks exist, but are unknown to the public at this time.
Directorate of Advanced Research
Directorate of Support
The division for support staff, whether to aid agents in the field, resolve information technology issues, or address problems with the communications network.
The senior officer of the RYIS organization in a nation is known as the station chief. He usually has an official cover as a senior diplomat of a Yisraeli embassy, however, in some contexts, the local Mashba contingent is detached from the embassy. His identity is usually disclosed to the host nation if relations are friendly, or kept secret if relations are cold or hostile.
In a scenario where an agent is implicated or detained by foreign authorities during his operations, the agent is usually protected by diplomatic immunity and that individual is declared persona non grata and deported by the foreign authorities in question. In more rare cases, especially black book operations, agents who refuse to acknowledge their status as employees of RYIS are imprisoned by foreign authorities detaining them.
Relationship with the RYSS
Relationships with foreign intelligence agencies
In popular culture
Fictional depictions of the RYIS exist in many books, films and video games. Some fiction draws, at least in parts, on actual historical events, while other works are entirely fictional.
The popular cultural hit film and television series Asher Frum glamorizes a fictional RYIS secret agent named Asher "Ash" Frum who is "cool," sophisticated, and deadly. The Frum series has achieved worldwide fame and celebrity, and has indirectly presented a more positive image of the intelligence agency both in Yisrael and abroad.