Imperial Security Bureau

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"The Imperial Security Bureau pays attention to patterns."
―Agent Kallus to Cumberlayne Aresko[src]

The Imperial Security Bureau (ISB), also referred to as the Security Bureau or Imperial Security, was a law enforcement and intelligence agency of the Galactic Empire that was charged with matters of state security and ensuring the loyalty of citizens to the Empire. Aside from that, it happened to be one of the many umbrella organizations under the greater Commission for the Preservation of the New Order, and was larger than Imperial Intelligence.


The Imperial Security Bureau was formed by Galactic Emperor Palpatine himself as a secret police organization, dedicated to rooting out enemies of the New Order and maintaining stability throughout Imperial territories shortly after the Proclamation of the New Order. Within fourteen years, the organization grew from a handful of agents into an organization double the size of Imperial Intelligence.[11]

Six years into the Emperor's reign, Military Intelligence agents found a cache of communications devices on the distant world of Murkhana and referred the case to the ISB who brought the matter to the Emperor and his Imperial Ruling Council, it was ultimately decided to send Wilhuff Tarkin and Darth Vader to investigate the cache, which was in reality set up by a small rebel cell, despite the ISB hoping to receive full oversight of the investigation from Military Intelligence and the Naval Intelligence Agency.[2]

One of the ISB's top members was Agent Kallus, who worked in both the Investigation and Internal Affairs branches of the organization and searched for signs of disloyal activity or insurgency. His primary mission was to ensure it did not spread into a full-scale rebellion against the Empire.[12] In the fifteenth year of the Empire, the Imperial Security Bureau took special interest in a crew of Lothal-based thieves, whose attacks on Imperial outposts revealed risks of sedition and gave warning signs of rebellion.[13]

Following the destruction of the first Death Star, the ISB engaged in an increasing number of operations to root out the growing rebellion.[4] These operations included a plan to sway mathematical genius Drusil Bephorin to the Empire's cause by keeping her in a sort of luxurious imprisonment on Denon.[14] Project Hidden Eye was aimed at seeding sleeper operatives across the galaxy to spread propaganda and secretly report on citizens. The project, however, was cut short due to the intervention of Commander Luke Skywalker, a hero of the Rebel Alliance.[15]

20 days after the Battle of Endor, the ISB kept information on the Emperor's contingency plan on one of it's Black Sites, the Wretch of Tayron. However, the base was then taken by Rebel Alliance General Han Solo and his Pathfinders. The base commander was unable to initiate a data purge and the Alliance was able to attain information on Operation: Cinder.[16]


Command hierarchy and administrationEdit

Kallus calls the shots

Agent Kallus, wearing the distinctive helmet of the ISB

The Imperial Security Bureau worked closely with Emperor Palpatine throughout his reign, being led by a Bureau Chief under which served Deputy Director Harus Ison and Colonel Wullf Yularen, who often operated in conjunction with the Joint Chiefs.[2] Members of the ISB worked from the ISB Central Office as part of the Federal District on Coruscant, while agents in the field would constantly provide intelligence updates. High-ranking ISB agents could command stormtrooper squads, override orders of civilian and military authorities, replace questionable officers and commandeer Imperial military hardware, including Star Destroyers.[11] Some ISB agents wore a distinctive type of helmet with cheek pieces that was designed to both symbolize their status and instill fear in their opponents.[1] Loyalty officers of the ISB[7] were tasked with ensuring that the regular troopers and officers obeyed orders and conformed to the Imperial ideology, and were regarded with great fear and respect.[17]


Operatives in the Surveillance branch were by far the most numerous, with its members focused on deciphering encrypted information and analyzing data to screen for potential threats against the New Order.[11]


Interrogation was the second largest branch in the ISB, and was intent on extracting information from various lifeforms to obtain valuable information. It claimed to have a 95 percent success rate in recovering useful data from questioned subjects.[11] To that end, the ISB notably used IT-O Interrogation Units [18] developed by the Imperial Department of Military Research.[19]


The Re-Education division was focused on what some would call 'brainwashing' its subjects into supporting the Galactic Empire and its actions across the galaxy.[11]


The Enforcement branch of the ISB served as backup for agents in the field, specially trained to provide support when necessary.[11]


Those in Investigation used previously collected data to suppress rebel activity.[11]

Internal AffairsEdit

The Internal Affairs division maintained order by investigating possible instances of insubordination within the Empire, with Colonel Wullf Yularen briefly heading a division dedicated to exposing sedition within the Imperial Senate before becoming Deputy Director of the Naval Intelligence Agency.[2][11] In addition, a single Internal Affairs officer was stationed aboard all Star Destroyers to investigate any signs of sedition among the crew.[4]

Special OperationsEdit

The Special Operations division was responsible for varying tasks within the Bureau, such as establishing Project Hidden Eye during the Galactic Civil War.[15]


Members of the ISB often used a specialized vocabulary to prevent outsiders from understanding their conversations. The term "auditing" was used to signal that suspects knew they were being investigated. The practice of provoking a suspect to commit a crime was referred to as "crustbusting," and interrogating a supposed innocent in hopes he or she would react suspiciously was known as "scattering." Framing a wanted suspect for a crime to make sure he or she would be arrested was referred to as "Jabba."[11]



Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Tarkin
  3. Smuggler's Run: A Han Solo & Chewbacca Adventure
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Lost Stars
  5. Bloodline
  6. 6.0 6.1 Ezra's Gamble
  7. 7.0 7.1 "The Levers of Power"
  8. TwitterLogo @ruckawriter (Greg Rucka) on Twitter. “@lelalmekha Haven't seen the final version of that comic. In my script, the communique is to 'Adm. Ras-Teker, J. - ISB Command, Coruscant'” (screenshot)
  9. Star Wars: Uprising
  10. In the novel Aftermath, Velus was decribed as a loyalty officer. According to the short story "The Levers of Power," such officers were part of the Imperial Security Bureau.
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
  12. 'Star Wars Rebels': First look at 'Rebel hunter' villain Agent Kallus. Hero Complex. Retrieved on July 10, 2014.
  13. StarWars-DatabankII Imperial Security Bureau in the Databank
  14. Heir to the Jedi
  15. 15.0 15.1 Star Wars: Commander, Rebel Campaign: Echoes of the Force
  16. Star Wars: Shattered Empire, Part IV
  17. Aftermath
  18. Ultimate Star Wars
  19. StarWars-DatabankII Interrogation Droid in the Databank

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