Skip navigation
Nuclear Safeguards Education Portal


An acronym for Money, Ideology, Coercion, and Ego, the primary motivations for insiders to commit malicious acts.

  • Money: Large personal debt, conspicuous consumption problems, expensive taste, greed, etc.
  • Ideology: political, religious, extremist, belief that actions are helping a portion of society, etc.
  • Coercion: Blackmail, threat of physical harm to the insider or their family, etc.
  • Ego: anger/revenge, self-image, problems at work or home, divided loyalties, mentally unstable, finds adventure or thrill in malicious acts, etc.

Some agencies in the intelligence community suggest that the MICE acronym should be changed to MICES, with Sex forming the last letter of the acronym.  Using sex as a payment for information or actions, as well as sexual entrapment and blackmail, are common techniques used to entice insiders into participating in malicious acts.