Lord's Resistance Army (LRA)

Founded in 1989, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) was the successor to the Holy Spirit Movement. The LRA seeks to overthrow the incumbent Ugandan government and replace it with a regime that will implement the group's brand of Christianity.

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), located near Sante Fe, New Mexico, is operated by the University of California for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA, a component of the United States Department of Energy).

Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF)

The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) is an extreme loyalist group formed in 1996 as a faction of the mainstream loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), though it did not emerge publicly until February, 1997. The LVF is composed largely of UVF hardliners who have sought to prevent a political settlement with Irish nationalists in Northern Ireland by attacking Catholic politicians, civilians, and Protestant politicians who endorse the Northern Ireland peace process.

Mail Sanitization

Mail sanitization is the process in which mail is decontaminated by exposure to radiation, high pressure, or gases. Microorganisms, such as the bacterium that causes anthrax, cannot survive these conditions.

Malicious Data

Malicious data is data that, when introduced to a computer—usually by an operator unaware that he or she is doing so—will cause the computer to perform actions undesirable to the computer's owner. It often takes the form of input to a computer application such as a word-processing or spreadsheet program.

Manhattan Project

The Manhattan Project was an epic, secret, wartime effort to design and build the world's first nuclear weapon. Commanding the efforts of the world's greatest physicists and mathematicians during World War II, the $20 billion project resulted in the production of the first uranium and plutonium bombs.

Mapping Technology

Mapping technology is a broad term that describes the equipment and techniques used to prepare, analyze, and distribute maps of all kinds. This can include satellites used to obtain high resolution and multispectral data; software to enhance or classify digital images; global positioning system (GPS) satellites; and geographic information systems (GIS).

Marine Mammal Program

The U.S. Navy has used marine mammals, or cetaceans, for military purposes since the late 1950s.


In the early 1950s, Joseph McCarthy, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, conducted highly publicized congressional hearings to uncover subversive elements within American culture, government, and military.

Measurement and Signatures Intelligence (MASINT)

Measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT) is the term for forms of information gathered by analysis of signals (SIGINT), imagery (IMINT), or data acquired through human contact (HUMINT). In the United States, MASINT operations are directed by the Central Measurement and Signatures Office, usually designated as Central MASINT Office or CMO, which is an office of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

Metal Detectors

Metal detectors use electromagnetic fields to detect the presence of metallic objects. They exist in a variety of walk-through, hand-held, and vehicle-mounted models and are used to search personnel for hidden metallic objects at entrances to airports, public schools, courthouses, and other guarded spaces; to hunt for landmines, archaeological artifacts, and miscellaneous valuables; and for the detection of hidden or unwanted metallic objects in industry and construction.

Meteorology and Weather Alteration

Up to 40 percent of the estimated $10 trillion U.S. economy is affected by weather and climate each year.

Mexico, Intelligence and Security

The seat of complex ancient civilizations, espionage and intelligence work has long been practiced in Mexico. Mayan societies and great city-states employed spies to seek information about political rivals and assess the strength of opposing armies.

MI5 (British Security Service)

Best known by its designation MI5, the Security Service is the leading counter-espionage agency working in the United Kingdom. Its functions are somewhat akin to those of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, but MI5 places a much greater emphasis on intelligence, and its operatives have no arrest powers.

MI6 (British Secret Intelligence Service)

Officially known as the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), MI6 is the chief British foreign intelligence organization, analogous to the United States Central Intelligence Agency. The organization is even more secretive than either its American counterpart, or another well-known member of the British intelligence community, the Security Service, or MI5.

Microbiology: Applications to Espionage, Intelligence, and Security

Microbiology is concerned with the study of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa, and algae. There are many facets to the science, ranging from basic studies of organism structure and genetic arrangement, to the development of methods or treatments against those microorganisms that cause diseases in humans, animals, and other living things.


Microchips, also termed "integrated circuits" or "chips," are small, thin rectangles of a crystalline semiconductor, usually silicon, that have been inlaid and overlaid with microscopically patterned substances so as to produce transistors and other electronic components on its surface. It is the components on the chip, not the chip itself, that are micro or too small see with the naked eye.


Microfilms are miniature films used for photographing objects and documents. The images on these films cannot be seen without an optical aid, either in the form of a magnifying glass or a projector.


A microphone is a transducer that converts sound waves into electrical signals proportional to the strength of the sound. The microphone output can be recorded or transmitted.


The ability to view things that are too small to be seen by the unaided eye is important in espionage and security. For example, the diagnosis of an infection often relies in part on the visual examination of the microorganism.

Microwave Weaponry, High Power (HPM)

High-power microwave (HPM) weaponry sends out a short, extremely high-voltage burst of electromagnetic energy capable of disrupting computer systems for a fraction of a second. Although the disruption is short, the burst causes computers to reset, and if the computers operate something as sensitive as the control and navigation systems of a jet in mid-flight, the result could be lethal.

Middle East, Modern U.S. Security Policy and Interventions

The Middle East figures heavily in U.S. national and international security policy.

Military Police, United States

The U.S. military police are the law enforcement corps within each of the major services.

MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Burst Bomb)

Molecular Biology: Applications to Espionage, Intelligence, and Security

Molecular biology involves the use of techniques to determine or rearrange the sequence of the components of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).


A mole is a high-ranking intelligence officer for one agency who covertly feeds information to a rival or enemy agency. In practice, the difference between a mole and an agent-inplace—an employee of one intelligence agency who, of his or her own initiative, offers services to a rival or enemy agency—is a murky one, and seems to involve distinctions of rank.

Monroe Doctrine

The Monroe Doctrine defined the U.S. position on international affairs involving nations in the Americas and former colonial holdings of European powers.

Morocco, Intelligence and Security

Morocco gained its independence from France in 1956. The nation, strategically located in western North Africa, close to the Straits of Gibraltar, has long served as the gateway between Africa and Europe.


Israel's principal agency for intelligence collection, counterterrorism, and covert action is the Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks, best known as Mossad, an abbreviation of its Hebrew name, ha-Mossad le-Modiin ule-Tafkidim Meyuhadim. In a tiny country surrounded by foes, the Mossad has been extremely active ever since its establishment in 1951.

Motion Sensors

In security applications, a motion sensor is a device that detects human presence, usually inside a building or in the immediate vicinity of a building. Not all devices classified as "motion" sensors actually sense motion; for instance, passive infrared systems (PIRs) detect the infrared light (heat radiation) emitted by human beings.