The first chief of British intelligence agency, MI5, had conveyed the gravity of a Nazi threat to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain by saying that Hitler called him "a*******", a new book has revealed.
Written by Cambridge historian Professor Christopher Andrew, The Defence Of The Realm is the first of its kind book which reveals the secrets of 100 years of obscure world of spying in Britain.
The book, which was released to mark the centenary of the founding of MI5, also discloses that three Labour MPs worked for Eastern Bloc intelligence agencies in the 1960s, including John Stonehouse who gained notoriety for faking his own death in a bid to start a new life in Australia, Sky News reports.
The book tracks down MI5’s early days of hunting German spies before the First World War to current operations against al-Qaeda.
The report quoted former MI5 director-general Sir Stephen Lander as terming its publication as a unique event.
Sir Stephen, who decided to commission the book after the 9/11 attacks, said no other major intelligence agency had opened up its files to an independent historian in this way.
According to him, the objective behind the publication was that the advent of al Qaeda-inspired terrorism meant the help of the public was needed more than ever.
"It is quite clear within the service that our world has changed fundamentally. The suicide bomber is a different order of threat to the IRA,” he said. "Reaching out - beyond the myths and misunderstandings - to the public was one of the motivations.”