City of Spies — Hellish Week for Belgian Spooks

“Is Belgian military intelligence up to the job? There is talk of ‘different cultures”‘and civilian and military staff struggling to work together.  Meanwhile efforts are being made to implement a major reform plan that should put an end to the bickering.  Intelligence watchdog Committee I has already commented on the poor operation of military intelligence, while other Belgian intelligence services too have raised questions.”

NWS (February 14 2019)

“Brussels has now overtaken Vienna when it comes to the density of so-called intelligence services from outside the EU.”

Peter Gridling — Head of Austria’s domestic intelligence agency (June 2018)

Brussels is apparently the new City of Spies. And some observers wonder if the Belgian intelligence services are up to the job? Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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RELATED POST: Belgium — Counterintelligence Chief Accused of Spying for Russia

RELATED POST: Dag Hammarskjold — Belgian Intel Agency Fabricated Mercenary Alibi

RELATED POST: Belgium: State Security Service officers not allowed to carry weapons…because of a legal glitch

Last week, the internal security service of the European External Action Service (EEAS)  has warned European diplomats and military officials against espionage by Russian and Chinese intelligence services in Brussels.

According to the EEAS Security Services, about 250 Chinese and 200 Russian spies are working in the European capital.

The EEAS security service has warned diplomats against entering certain pubs and restaurants in the EU buildings neighborhood.

Obviously the EEAS report was leaked to the media by someone not entirely happy with the Counter-Intelligence efforts of the Belgian services.

Next we learned that, in the fall of 2016, high-ranking officers from the intelligence department twice travelled to the Syrian capital Damascus to negotiate with the regime of President Assad.

Belgian defence minister Steven Vandeput claims that he was not aware of these contacts at the time.

Then, on February 15 2019, Belgian media revealed that Clement Vandenborre — the head of the counterintelligence department within Belgium’s General Information and Security Service (ADIV) — is accused of spying for Russia.

He has been “temporarily” removed from office. His office was sealed at the end of January 2019.

It appears that Vandenborre was in contact with a Serbian woman believed to have been a double agent for Russia.

And the week before, Belgian newspaper De Morgen revealed that the Belgian State Security Services — VSSE — had provided Jan Van Risseghem with a FAKE rock solid alibi for his alleged role in the murder of UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold.

Finally, Belgian newspaper Le Soir just revealed that many spies of the VSSE are depressed and some have decided to quit the agency. And why would that be?

In May 2016 — just a few weeks after the Brussels attacks — the Belgian government approved a new law [Arrêté Royal du 23 mai 2016] transferring part of the VSSE competence to the Police.

In the process, the legal provision allowing VSSE officers to legally carry weapons was mistakenly abrogated. The error was corrected on March 9 2017! Media reported that some surveillance missions of suspected terrorists have been complicated if not cancelled.

In a piece titled “The Islamic State of Molenbeek” published by the New York Times on April 11 2016, Roger Cohen — a former journalist who worked for Reuters in Brussels — wrote:

“A jihadi loves a vacuum, as Syria demonstrates. Belgium as a state, and Belgium as the heart of the European Union are as close to a vacuum as Europe offers these days. (…) There is a vacuum. Vacuums are dangerous.”

It is becoming increasingly difficult to disagree with the harsh criticism expressed by Cohen and other experts. It would seem fair to quote William Shakespeare: “There is something rotten in the Kingdom of… Belgium.”

One thing is certain… Terrorists will try to hit Brussels again. In October 2016, Alain Winants — former Head of the Belgian State Security Service — stated that Brussels was the perfect target for terrorists.

“The Belgian Governments have never taken terrorism seriously. No serious resources were ever allocated to fight this threat,” Winants argued.

PS: Oussama Atar — a Belgian of Moroccan descent believed to be the mastermind of the Paris and Brussels attacks — is dead according to French Intelligence. But the “Atar Affair” remains a mystery.

The circumstances of his release when he returned in 2012, the reasons why the Belgian Government actively sought to release him, the reasons why he was not the subject of surveillance measures by the Belgian security on his return from Iraq, the reasons for which a passport was issued to him contrary to the promises of the Belgian authorities towards the Iraqi authorities, are so many enigmas…

Anywhere in the ‘democratic’ world, it can be said that it is a rather sad thing that people get the government they deserve. But in Brussels, it is a tragedy!

As I have explained long ago, it is very clear that both the Paris and Brussels attacks would not have occurred if some Belgian politicians had not moved Heaven and Earth to obtain the release of Oussama Atar from an Iraqi jail.

RELATED POST: Paris & Brussels Attacks — Q&A About Oussama Atar in the Belgian Parliament (UPDATE)

At the very least, you would think that these politicians would be sanctioned by the election process.

Not in Brussels. The Green Party — the main organizer of the demonstration to free Atar — is actually expected to receive more votes than ever in this city during the next general election.

What will it take for Belgian people to realize that we are living very dangerous times and we need serious politicians and serious politics right now?

REFERENCES

«Bruxelles, une cible idéale» pour les terroristes, selon l’ex-chef de la Sûreté belge

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City of Spies — Hellish Week for Belgian Spooks

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