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Shh... Indian 007 at work

If you look Indian, or Asian, you have better chances of getting into UK's secret services. They want to recruit more non-white agents, reports Vijay Dutt.

world Updated: Nov 27, 2007 03:13 IST
Vijay Dutt

You do not have to resemble James Bond to be a British spy. If you look Indian, or Asian, you have better chances of getting into Britain's secret services MI5 and MI6.

The secret services want to recruit more non-white agents around the world, a top official of foreign intelligence agency MI6 said in a BBC interview on Monday. "We need people to deploy into a range of situations around the world and people who have a different ethnicity can often go places and do things and meet people that those from a white background can't," head of recruitment at MI6, who was not identified by the broadcaster, said.

“There are places that white males can’t go,” he said, possibly referring to breaking into Islamic terror rings like the one that caused the London bombings in 2005.

He downplayed the James Bond image, saying: “This is the biggest myth at the service — we do not have a licence to kill.”

Also for the first time, the BBC broadcast interviews of two British Asian staff of internal intelligence agency MI5. The two — under fictitious names Jayshree and Sahzad — spoke about their lives in what could be a promo to get more Asians into secret services. “When out with friends or relations I tend to be quite vague about my work — I don’t want unnecessary attention,” said Jayshree. She said her parents knew about her role, but were “not as excited or interested” as she thought they would be. Both said they do not see their job as a betrayal of the community.