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British MI5 won't hire agents with tattoos

By Thor Benson
A festival attendee gets a tattoo during the Tattoo Art Festival at Parc Floral in Paris on April 28, 2007. (UPI Photo/ David Silpa) | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/94141fb40937f6d6f1442a18838ea007/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
A festival attendee gets a tattoo during the Tattoo Art Festival at Parc Floral in Paris on April 28, 2007. (UPI Photo/ David Silpa) | License Photo

LONDON, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- New job descriptions posted by MI5 -- the British domestic security and counter-terrorism agency -- ban hiring agents with tattoos.

"Being able to blend into the background and remain covert is of paramount importance in our investigations," one job description says. "Any distinguishing features such as tattoos on your face, neck or forearms would make you more recognisable to someone who is under surveillance and would therefore make you unsuitable for this role. Likewise, if you are male you will need to be 6'1" (1.86m) or under. Females must be 5'8" (1.72m) or under."

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The Telegraph notes that Sean Connery was forced to hide a tattoo on his forearm that says "Scotland Forever" when he played James Bond, a fictional MI6 -- MI5's foreign-affairs counterpart -- agent.

The job descriptions also stress the importance of patience, good vision and hearing, communication skills and driving skills.

The director general of MI5, Andrew Parker, recently said there are "mass casualty attacks against the West" being planned by "a group of core al-Qaida terrorists in Syria."

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