secret police

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secret police (uncountable) (often treated as a plural)

  1. A police force operating in secrecy and outside the normal boundaries of law and hidden from the public, usually in support of a totalitarian government's political policies to suppress political dissent through the use of methods such as (but not limited to) intimidation, violence, and surveillance.
    • 2014, Ian Black, "Courts kept busy as Jordan works to crush support for Isis", The Guardian, 27 November 2014:
      Leading Jordanian exponents of the Salafi-jihadi world view, such as Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, are now behind bars or silent, fearing arrest by the powerful mukhabarat secret police.