Imperial Intelligence was the primary intelligence organization that served the Sith Empire during the Great Galactic War. The largest organization under the Ministry of Intelligence, Imperial Intelligence answered directly to the Minister of Intelligence. Operating in the shadows, agents of Imperial Intelligence were skilled at manipulation, subterfuge, intimidation and assassination and could be just as deadly as their Sith superiors.
- "Recent Republic strategic information reports prove that the rise of the Mandalorians was orchestrated by Imperial Intelligence."
- ―Jedi Master Gnost-Dural
In the days following the Sith exodus in the aftermath of the Great Hyperspace War, abandoning such holdings like Ziost and Korriban, the Sith Empire reorganized into a new government on the planet of Dromund Kaas. At that time, a new governmental structure was established, consisting of various ministries and bureaucracies, one of such being Imperial Intelligence.
The organization was a major asset to the empire by the 3900's, sending various undercover operatives into Republic space to help stage the Mandalorian Wars as to serve the emperor's plans to return to the republic. One such operative was Sechel, who later went on to serve the Sith Lord Darth Nyriss as her personal operative.
Prior to the signing of the Treaty of Coruscant in 3653 BBY, this division of the Sith Empire was responsible for blocking the Republic's attempt at gaining allies amongst the Hutt Cartels. Intelligence operatives were also responsible for Mandalore the Lesser's rise to power. They helped him gain victory and success in the Gladiatorial arena of Geonosis by intimidation and even poisoning of his opponents, giving him an unfair advantage. Through their behind the scenes manipulations, they twisted audience perceptions until they were calling him the new Mandalore. They used him to rally the scattered Mandalorian commandos under his banner, all the while controlling him as a pawn in their Emperor's plans. Mandalore the Lesser was eventually killed and replaced by Artus, who took his place as Mandalore.
At some unknown point, Imperial Intelligence learned that the Galactic Republic operated a prison on the planet Belsavis known as "the Tomb". Thus, they began attempts at uncovering the location of this super prison and later succeeded in staging a raid against the facility in order to free any Sith prisoners within the structure.
During the Cold War, Intelligence dispatched a talented agent to Nal Hutta to infiltrate Suudaa Nem'ro's organization, under the alias of the infamous pirate known as the Red Blade. The goal was to motivate Nem'ro and his lieutenants to supporting the Empire. The agent succeeded and was called back to Dromund Kaas to deal with a rising terrorist movement. Though the agent thwarted their attempts to cause a blackout in Kaas City, the terrorists managed to destroy the Dominator, killing thousands of Imperial civilians, including Dark Councilor Darth Jadus. The agent was then promoted to Cipher Nine and tasked with tracking down terrorist cells on Balmorra, Nar Shaddaa, Tatooine and Alderaan. After defeating the terrorist leader, codename the Eagle, Nine learned that Jadus was alive and the true power behind the terrorists and stopped him from attempting a coup against the Dark Council and the Sith Emperor.
As the Galactic War reignited between the Republic and Empire, Intelligence became preoccupied trying to discover a third party that destroyed the Shadow Arsenal. The organization was discovered to be known as Star Cabal, seeking to wipe out both Empire and Republic to rule the galaxy themselves. In their attempts to expose the conspiracy, Intelligence suffered losses. The Star Cabal planted a virus within a hologram to disable enhanced Watchers, eventually using their influence to dissolve the Operations branch of Intelligence, its personnel drafted into the armies of individual Sith Lords and military officers.
Using the last of his influence, the Minister of Intelligence rallied the remnants of Intelligence to hunt down and destroy the Star Cabal. Cipher Nine located their headquarters, destroying the inner circle of the conspiracy and acquired the Black Codex, the Star Cabal's central databank. But despite this success, the Dark Council had no plans to rebuild Imperial Intelligence, instead planning on building a new Sith Intelligence.
Imperial Intelligence was quite possibly the most deadly and feared intelligence organization the galaxy has ever seen, easily able to outstrip their Republic SIS counterparts. The agents of Intelligence were very adept at gathering information, having spies and operatives on nearly every Republic and non-Imperial world, even Tython and Coruscant, that the Jedi or the SIS were not aware. Their field agents were often willing to do whatever it took to get the job done, and most, especially those who knew much about the organization's activities, carried around a capsule or shot of poison in case they were captured, for most members preferred to die than give up the Empire's secrets. There were very few instances that Intelligence was caught off guard, and even if they were, they quickly regained their balance and silenced any threat to the Empire, from rogue Sith Lords to terrorist cells. Even though Intelligence, like all Imperials at the that time, served and worked under the thumb of the Sith, it has been remarked by some that Intelligence, even though putting on a good facade for the Sith, did not care for their dark-side masters; in fact, some agents went so far as to deliberately undermine the Sith's efforts or disobey direct orders discreetly.
Official designations were restricted to speakers of Basic; non-speakers such as Lodenth Kashar served in flexible capacities. The real names of Ciphers, Minders, Fixers, and Watchers were classified, with the agents in question being known only by their position and number (i.e., Cipher Nine, Minder Twenty, Fixer Six, Watcher Two). It is important to note that number did not indicate rank or even seniority; numbers were nothing more than a way to differentiate between individuals with the same designation.
- Informer: Spies, scouts and informants who gathered information and relayed it back to base. Were often assigned a fixed position they would never leave.
- Cipher: Operatives that were skilled in assassination, seduction, infiltration and sabotage. Ciphers were often the field agents and main attack force of Intelligence, adept with poisons, rifles and gadgets.
- Minder: Information processors who received intelligence from Ciphers and anticipate their enemies movements. Minders work as internal security, screening Intelligence for vulnerabilities, and addressing any breaches.
- Fixer: Technical agents who were adept at slicing, engineering and biomechanics. Often processed and made sense of technical data (such as datapads and bioscans) gathered by Ciphers.
- Watcher: Observers that recover, process and analyze data, then relay their findings back to the Ciphers. Watchers report directly to Keeper.
- Keeper: The main leader of Imperial Intelligence. Keeper gives orders to their operatives, comes up with the largest plans, and knows all the secrets of the Empire and Intelligence.
- Minister of Intelligence: The true leader of Intelligence. The Minister handles the paperwork and technical details of running Intelligence, and reports directly to the Dark Council. Besides the Imperial Guard, this is the highest position a non-Sith can achieve in the Empire.
- The Old Republic: Revan (Mentioned only)
- The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance
- Timeline 4: The Empire Changes Strategy (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- The Old Republic: Annihilation (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Hutt Cartel (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Shadow of Revan (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Eternal Throne (Codex entry)
- The Art and Making of Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Explorer's Guide
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia
- "Blaster"—Star Wars Insider 137