- "What we say is principle, what we decide is regulation, what we do is law."
- — Drelfin
The Imperial Security Bureau, also simply called Imperial Security or the ISB, is a law enforcement and internal intelligence organization of the Galactic Empire. Based in the massive ISB Central Office on Coruscant, it is separate from, larger than, and often a rival to Imperial Intelligence. Many within the Imperial Military infrastructure tend to believe that the ISB had been established by Palpatine himself, as a way to exert a measure of control over the regular military, thereby ensuring that none of its leaders could grow strong enough to challenge him for control of the Empire. In reality, it was formed by Crueya Vandron to keep an eye on Imperial Intelligence and to ensure that the New Order's ideals would be carried out.
Being a more public agency than Intelligence, the Imperial Security Bureau is more of a policing agency than Intelligence, and often the simple fact that an individual is a member of the ISB is enough to put a stop to criminal activity. The ISB station moles among the officers of all capital ships in the Imperial Navy; their duty 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 those treasonous ideas are acted upon.
Under the rule of Emperor Damascus the organization was largely absorbed into Imperial Intelligence until his reign was ended during the Battle of Corellia. Grand Admiral Thrawn, the following Regent, stripped Imperial Intelligence of the power they had been given over the ISB and restored it to its former power. Command was given to Dolomar Daktren and tasked with removing the corrupt elements from the Empire to make sure such a thing wouldn't happen again. At the same time the ISB's parent organization, COMPNOR, was dissolved as not being in line with new Imperial policies. The Imperial Security Bureau became its own entity and was placed in charge of the only other survivor of COMPNOR, CompForce.
The ISB was originally broken down into seven key divisions: Interrogation, Investigations, Surveillance, Enforcement, Re-Education, Internal Affairs, and the Commission of Operations. With the dissolution of COMPNOR, CompForce replaced Re-Education as an active division. The Commission of Operations oversees the activities of the various Sector Offices of the ISB, each of which mirrors the divisional breakdown of the ISB itself.
Additionally, the ISB has its own Stormtroopers that operate outside the command structure of the Stormtrooper Corps. As they wear identical armor to that of regular Stormtroopers, they are sometimes used to infiltrate standard units of Stormtroopers to ensure their loyalty and the execution of their orders. They may also be used to enforce ISB operations. The ISB Troopers are typically under the command of the Commission of Operations.
Commission of Operations
The Commission of Operations is 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, is dictated by the Commission of Operations.
Surveillance is the largest branch of the ISB, with nearly 35 percent of all personnel in the Bureau. The agents are made up of properly trained CompForce Observors and local contacts aiming to subvert other local powers. Surveillance is tasked with uncovering beings or activities helpful to the Empire's enemies or that may obstruct the Empire's plans. Many of Surveillance's targets are later turned over to Investigations for more thorough action.
Investigations is 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 can take down threats with considerable response time and effectiveness. Many proven agents from Surveillance make up Investigations.
The Internal Affairs branch is the group responsible for watching Imperial personnel and the citizens of the Empire, another example of multiple layers of control and authority overlapping one another in the Galactic Empire. Affairs agents are isolated from the rest of the ISB, which has caused other branches to complain about the autonomy of Internal Affairs and their actions, but the various leaders of the Empire have always supported the work of Internal Affairs.
Internal Affairs call their field agents keyns, while they call their investigative staff dirtbugs. The division has also developed their own collection of terms to differentiate between the ways they conduct a specific investigation.
Audit: An investigation in which the target and everyone around them knows the investigation is being conducted.
Finesse: An investigation asking the target's help in rooting out other traitors in the hopes they will give away incriminating evidence in their eagerness to point the finger at others.
Scattering: Grabbing someone with no evidence of foul play and then observing the behavior of the person's associates to see if any of these react in suspicious ways.
Crustbusting: Harassing a suspect in the hopes they do something criminal.
Cultivation: Allowing a suspect with only minor wrongdoing to proceed unhindered so agents can catch the suspect and any associates in a larger crime. Related to this irrigation means to covertly stage events so a cultivated suspect will have a greater opportunity to commit a larger crime.
Jabba: Setting up a suspect in a no-win situation in which they must commit a crime. The Internal Affairs agent can then promise to forgive the crime if the suspect does a few favors; favors which inevitably causes the suspect to commit some other crime. This ensures that the subject will be permanetly indebted to the ISB.
If a subject caught by Investigations is suspected of still hiding information the ISB wants to know the subject is shipped off to the Interrogation branch. The information they uncover is then sent back to Investigations, but the subjects themselves have been known to dissapear and no one outside of Interrogation is really willing to find out just what happens to them.
The Enforcement branch provides specialized muscle for the ISB. They occasionally operate for Internal Affairs, but most often they work for Investigations. Enforcement is known as the only division within all of the ISB that hires beings who are not members of the Empire, which earns them the suspicion of the Internal Affairs division, who worry the use of unindoctrinated personnel is too risky.
Nevertheless, Enforcement is able to increase the amount of available talent, and perform operations that would rather not be performed by other ISB members. In addition, Enforcement does its best to protect its operatives from unwarranted interferences from the Internal Affairs division, though a permanent tension exists between the two groups that no one can avoid.
CompForce is the military wing of the Imperial Security Bureau (originally COMPNOR), created to provide Emperor Palpatine with an army of utterly loyal soldiers separate from the Stormtrooper Corps. Stormtroopers are trained to obey orders without thinking, but at the same time, they are proudly independent of the line military; CompForce units, in contrast, are embedded within the hierarchy of the Imperial Army and Imperial Navy, and their members are motivated primarily by conscious adherence to the tenets of the New Order. In theory, they are shock troops and officer candidates; in effect, they are security troops and political police, answerable to the ISB rather than Imperial High Command—an army within the Army, designed to tighten the grip of the Imperial hierarchy on the military.