Secret police

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Secret police (or political police) are intelligence, security or police agencies that engage in covert operations against a government's political opponents and dissidents. Secret police organizations are characteristic of totalitarian regimes. Used to protect the political power of an individual dictator or an authoritarian regime, secret police often operate outside the law and are used to repress dissidents and weaken the political opposition, frequently with violence. They are similar to death squads.

List of secret police forces