Security Intelligence Middle East

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Security Intelligence Middle East (SIME) (1912-1946) was an organisation made up of a number of British intelligence agencies supporting the British Military Government during the Second World War, based in Cairo, Egypt. It was composed of Security Service (MI5), with Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) provided by liaison officers and army Intelligence Corps personnel (including Field Security teams), but MI5 were the lead agency and provided the focus.[1][2][3]

SIME was created in December 1939 as the British Government sought to develop a more focussed approach to counter intelligence and developing security intelligence on the spectrum of threats from espionage, subversion, sabotage and eventually terrorism.[4] SIME's first chief (titled Defence Security Officer) was Colonel Raymund John Maunsell, although he had moved on by February 1945 as he was recorded as being at Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force G2 based in northwestern Europe.[5][6][7]

A record of a 1947 visit by two senior Security Service officers to SIME confirmed that it was still based in Cairo and had offices in Baghdad, Jerusalem and Cyprus.[8]

Maunsell was succeeded by the following as Chief of SIME:[9]

  • Brigadier Douglas Roberts
  • Bill Magan
  • Robin Stephen
  • David Stewart
  • Bill Oughton
  • Philip Kirby-Green.

The SIME organisational model was in employed elsewhere and in 1946 Security Intelligence Far East (SIFE) was established. SIME was disbanded in 1958.[10]


  1. ^ Arditti, Roger (15 April 2016). "Security Intelligence in the Middle East (SIME): Joint Security Intelligence Operations in the Middle East, c. 1939–58". Intelligence and National Security. 31 (3): 369–396. doi:10.1080/02684527.2015.1034471. ISSN 0268-4527.
  2. ^ West, Nigel (2015). Double Cross in Cairo: The True Story of the Spy Who Turned the Tide of War in the Middle East. Biteback Publishing. ISBN 9781849548670. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  3. ^ Counter Intelligence Corps History and Mission in World War 2 (PDF). Fort Holabird, Baltimore: The Counter Intelligence Corps School. 1951. pp. 58–59. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  4. ^ Williams, Manuela (2006). Mussolini's Propaganda Abroad: Subversion in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, 1935-1940. Routledge. p. 169. ISBN 9781134244416. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  5. ^ Rankin, Nicholas (2011). Ian Fleming's Commandos: The Story of the Legendary 30 Assault Unit. Oxford University Press. p. 274. ISBN 9780199782901. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  6. ^ Lewis, Jeremy (2011). Shades of Greene: One Generation of an English Family. Random House. pp. 328–329. ISBN 9780099551881. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  7. ^ Bendeck, Whitney (2013). "A" Force: The Origins of British Deception in the Second World War. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 9781612512341. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  8. ^ The National, Archives. "Visit of James Robertson (B3A) and Guy Liddell (DDG) to Security Intelligence Middle East (SIME) Headquarters in Cairo and outlying offices in Baghdad, Jerusalem and Cyprus, April and May 1947". Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  9. ^ West, Nigel (2014). Historical Dictionary of British Intelligence. Scarecrow Press. p. 534. ISBN 9780810878976. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  10. ^ West, Nigel (2014). Historical Dictionary of British Intelligence. Scarecrow Press. p. 534. ISBN 9780810878976. Retrieved 3 June 2017.