London: British intelligence service MI6 does not have a “licence to kill,” sources have revealed.
According to a security source the service does not get involved in extra judicial killing or assassinations.
The paper quoted the source, as saying that MI6 officers are not allowed to do anything abroad that would be illegal in Britain, nor ask anyone to do it on their behalf.
Where they have concerns about an operation they are obliged to abort the mission or seek “reliable caveats or assurances,” the source added.
According to the paper, the mission of the service is seen as recruiting and running agents and collecting intelligence rather than running operations against enemies abroad.
“Adherence to human rights and the involvement of lawyers has become a pervasive element in the work of both MI5 and MI6,” the paper quoted sources, as saying.
According to the paper, some old intelligence hands feel their work has been stifled by the need to seek legal approval at every turn.
The report said that the CIA on the other hand runs a large-scale, and still classified, programme in the skies over Pakistan and Yemen to assassinate militants using Hellfire missiles fired from unmanned drones.
US intelligence officers believe the programme has “removed a lot of senior leaders from the battlefield” making communication, training and planning difficult, if not impossible, the paper added.