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by Peter Klerks
(Domestic Security Research Foundation)

April 1993

The Domestic Security Research Foundation (Stichting voor
Onderzoek naar Binnenlandse Veiligheid) was established as a
registered charity in 1990 to stimulate public interest in
intelligence studies and matters of domestic security. The
Foundation is privately-sponsored. It brings out reports and
contributes to publications, seminars and public debates.

The foundation can be contacted at:  Domestic Security Research
Foundation, Peter Klerks, chair, P.O. Box 11178, 1001 GD
Amsterdam, The Netherlands;  email <klerks@str.frg.eur.nl>.

Copyright Peter Klerks 1993

About the author.  Peter Klerks (1958) holds an M.A. in
political science and a B.A. in sociology from the University
of Amsterdam. He has published a book on antiterrorist policies
in Holland and several articles and chapters on intelligence,
policing, international police cooperation, political violence
and human rights. He currently works as a researcher at Erasmus
University Rotterdam on organized crime.


Table of Contents.  Contents, Introduction, Austria, Belgium,
Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy,
Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,
Turkey, United Kingdom, References, Appendix - Proposals and
issues for an accountable security service.


Intelligence and security services are only infrequently the
subject of public discussion, although this situation seems to
be changing gradually at least in some countries. This brief
report attempts to give the uninitiated reader a first
impression of the different services and organizations
responsible for collecting and analyzing information of
political, economic or military relevance in 17 European
countries. The information is incomplete for obvious reasons,
as this is a first effort on almost pristine terrain.

International cooperation is of increasing importance to the
intelligence community of any European country. Apart from the
obvious bilateral contacts, security and intelligence services
meet and exchange information in a number of ways. There are
certain "regional" cooperation groups, in which the services of
some countries meet to discuss specific subjects of common
interest. Examples are the Berne and Vienna groups. The Trevi
group, which has been described in detail by many authors
recently and therefore needs no further introduction, is
perhaps the most important platform for the exchange of
intelligence in Western Europe (cf. Bunyan 1993, in print).
From discussions with participants in this group one can
conclude that the very different cultures of the participants
sometimes lead to misunderstandings, hesitations or even open
conflicts. These cultural differences not only have to do with
distinctive national views on what the world should look like,
but also with organizational backgrounds (civil vs. military,
political/strategic vs. judicial/tactic, etc.) and personal
attitudes. Reportedly the differences become most apparent in
concrete efforts for cooperation and information exchange,
while the drafting of common threat analyses seems to present
much less controversies.

Another organizational structure in which the exchange of data
on international political violence takes place since 1977 is
the so-called Kilowatt group. This information alliance between
the services of some 15 countries has been kept a virtual
secret since it started off: only in 1982 was its existence
revealed when Iranian students brought out materials captured
at the American embassy in Teheran in which Kilowatt was
mentioned. Taking part in this network are the EC- countries
and Canada, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the CIA and FBI, as
well as the Israeli Mossad and Shin Beth. Kilowatt is believed
to be dominated by Israel because of her near- monopoly
position in the information exchange on the activities of Arab
groups and individuals in Europe and the Middle East.

Cooperation in the network is of great importance for the
services of the smaller countries because the group gives out
information without immediately demanding something in return.
A condition is, however, that the terrorism department of any
connected security service makes available any information it
has on terrorists, their movements and their treats to other
Kilowatt members. According to recent information from Swiss
and Dutch sources the network is now functioning under another
name. The chiefs of West-European and allied intelligence and
security services meet regularly to discuss current affairs. In
1991 for example, violent extremism and fundamentalism as well
as the threats posed to state security by organised crime were
discussed in this committee. It is not clear whether these
meetings are in fact identical to the Kilowatt network.

Another platform for the exchange of information on extremism,
activism, terrorism and other potential threats is NATO, which
has its own analytic capabilities. Under the reviewed strategic
NATO concept of November 1991 international terrorism is
explicitly recognized as a potential threat to a member state.
This formal recognition in a sense legitimized the fact that
NATO has been used as a platform to discuss, plan, coordinate
and implement anti-terrorist policy and concrete measures since
at least the mid-1980s, cumulating in the unparalleled efforts
to contain possibly violent reactions to the 1990-1991 Gulf
campaign. Bilateral contacts are frequent, and multilateral
meetings take place twice a year.

In the politico-military field the Western European Union (WEU)
could be mentioned as an international organization with
intelligence functions. The WEU is presently developing
satellite intelligence capabilities working from a ground
station in Spain, which would enable the alliance to gather and
analyze its own information without having to depend on the

To avoid interference with ongoing research this report
contains no information on the stay-behind networks that became
known throughout Europe as "Gladio" in November 1990.

Present Areas of Interest for European Security Services

Most European security services are in one form or another
attempting to convert from a traditional perspective
predominantly oriented on counterespionage and
countersubversion to a modern "early warning" role.

The demise of the Soviet Union and the waning relevance of the
revolutionary Left has initiated a sometimes frantic search
for a new raison d'ˆtre. If we look at what is being discussed
at the Trevi meetings and what issues are taken up by the
security services in the various countries, an incomplete
shortlist can be drawn up which displays some distinctive

Economic intelligence is increasingly high on the agenda,
combining active intelligence gathering (or industrial
espionage if "they" do it) with counterintelligence, i.e. the
protection of valuable high-tech and know-how against theft and
uncontrolled dissemination. A recent book written by Peter
Schweitzer lists several recent cases in which Japanese,
French, German and Israeli intelligence services acquired U.S.
industrial secrets by covert means (Friendly Spies. New York:
Atlantic, 1993). Several senior European intelligence officials
have recently spoken of the emergence of professional and
powerful commercially-operating intelligence services that
steal industrial and perhaps other valuable secrets either on
order or to offer them for sale. From a civil liberties point
of view economic and industrial espionage may not seem all that
important, considering that in the end the damage is largely
financial. But with government intelligence agencies being as
difficult to control as they are, just think how hard it is to
check out snooping bodies whose existence you are unaware of,
not to mention the risk of government agencies farming out
their dirty work to such private spooks, who often happen to be
former colleagues.

Uncontrolled and massive migration is perceived by governments
and parts of the population as a serious menace to western
societies, and several security services have been producing
threat analyses, situation reports and strategic forecasts with
respect to the possible consequences of civil wars, famine and
poverty in Africa, Asia and the former communist countries.
European monitoring systems are currently being set up to
coordinate the collection and flow of intelligence on these
issues. Short-term attention is now focused on detecting the
underground networks that bring people to Europe, but in
several countries there are indications that support networks
and solidarity groups working with "illegal aliens" are
considered legitimate targets for surveillance and penetration.

The proliferation of non-conventional arms and nuclear
technology is another hot issue in more than one way. Over the
last 18 months black market operators have offered nuclear
material for sale in about thirty instances in central Europe.
German policemen have investigated more than 100 cases in 1992
involving smuggled nuclear material, against 29 investigations
in 1991. No hard evidence has yet emerged of extensive or
state-sponsored organised crime rings trading in radioactive
materials. Of course the dubious role of several foreign
intelligence agencies such as the CIA, the British Secret
Intelligence Service (SIS), the German Bundesnachrichtendienst
(BND) and the French Direction G‚n‚rale de la S‚curit‚
Ext‚rieure (DGSE) in supporting the sales of arms and products
used to manufacture chemical weapons and missiles is well-known
especially after Iran-Contra, Iraq-gate and the publications in
the French and German press over the last three years. It won't
come as a surprise that in quite a few countries severe
conflicts between the domestic and foreign services have arisen
on these issues.

The protection of vital and vulnerable civil infrastructures
such as nuclear installations, computer and communications
systems, fuel plants, etc. is a constant intelligence concern.

Intelligence agencies increasingly participate in gathering and
analyzing information on organised crime insofar as it
constitutes a threat to vital institutions and functions in
society. Identifying potentially corruptible functions or
persons can be mentioned as an example here.

The violent extreme right movement has begun to draw the
attention of the security services. The situation in different
European countries varies greatly in both the magnitude of the
threat and the vigor with which the police and security
services confront it.

Islamic fundamentalism, extreme nationalism and other extremist
phenomena occurring in certain ethnic groups are invariably
mentioned as reasons for concern by security service

Terrorism; the PIRA and on a lesser scale the ETA remain active
both in their home region and abroad. Some smaller separatist
movements (Corsican FNLC, a Sd-Tirol group) have recently
engaged in bomb attacks. Islamic fundamentalist groups,
possibly sponsored or orchestrated by Iran, are also active
with bomb attacks in a number of countries.

Radical groups campaigning on issues of poverty, unemployment
and other sources of dissatisfaction such as environmental
pollution or genetic engineering can as per usual count on the
warm attention of the proper government agencies (i.e. not the
Social or Health Ministries).

The list is not exhaustive, but does seem to illustrate a
remarkable shift from chasing Reds, anarchists and government
critics to a much wider range of target groups and -areas. A
modern security service nowadays markets its expertise in risk
control and -management, not too different from the risk
assessment branch in a multinational company. All in all a
modern an rather clean image. Still, it should be noted that
especially in the larger countries such as France or the U.K.,
or in those situations that a government is faced with
opponents that it considers to be a serious threat to the state
or the public such as the Basque ETA, secret services may be
used as a quick fix to complicated problems. And this is where
harassment, large-scale and intensive surveillance or even
shoot-to-kill policies (re)appear.

Some Trends

Present areas of interest for European foreign intelligence
agencies are still rather divergent. Many countries have their
own traditional regions of influence: the French DGSE for
example is becoming ever more active in Africa, often in
competition but sometimes working in unison with U.S. services.
The Maghreb is becoming more important for a number of reasons.
Morocco for instance has taken on the function of a buffer for
African migrants on their way to a clandestine existence in
Europe. Islamic fundamentalism is perceived as one of the more
serious threats of the future, manifesting itself in countries
such as Algeria, Egypt, Libya and Sudan. Fundamentalism is also
spreading among the Palestinian population and in Turkey.

The Spanish CESID has reportedly boosted its activities in
certain Latin American countries, presumably hoping to
reinforce Spanish strategic and economical influence in the

The German BND is believed to be particularly active in the
Commonwealth of Independent States in an effort to establish
solid information positions which could give it an edge in any
future crisis situations, especially in the event that the
region should fall back into isolation and dictatorship. On the
whole both foreign and military intelligence services are
closely monitoring developments in unstable areas in
southeastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Interestingly, there is a tendency towards some amalgamation in
certain aspects of the work that security and foreign
intelligence agencies traditionally do. In smaller countries
such as Holland, Austria, Switzerland and the Scandinavian
countries which have only small foreign intelligence services,
the domestic services are taking over some of the traditional
foreign intelligence responsibilities, such as the monitoring
of unstable regions or migration patterns and negotiations and
consultations on "European" security. Domestic security in a
sense has become European, at least EC security. Military
intelligence and security services are of course still
concerned with their traditional tasks of gathering and
analyzing information relevant to the military and preventing
potential opponents from doing the same.

While traditional anti-communism seems to have become a thing
of the past -mainly for lack of communists rather than because
of more tolerant security doctrines- distrust and therefore
activities in relation to diffuse, hard to situate and
potentially threatening groups such as "autonomists",
anarchists, squatters, and activists in general will remain.
There seems to be a more or less general belief among what is
called "security experts" that in spite of the demise of the
traditional enemy and its supposed "subversion from outside",
stability in contemporary society is even less secure than in
the past. Also, substantial capital flows and institutional
holdings for example are no longer (fully) controlled by the
traditional elites, let alone by the government, but by hard-
to-trace foreign centres of power or by what appear to be
"criminal syndicates".

Rightwing extremism should be considered a serious threat, but
in some countries it is not perceived as such primarily because
of the concrete danger it poses to minorities, to the left, or
to tolerance in general. Rather it is feared because its
emergence jeopardizes the silent support of a considerable part
of the population for the existing order in society that has
always taken for granted. It could bring about the loss of
power by traditional elites, and possibly even the endangerment
of the state's monopoly on force. The influence of the extreme
right in the police, the army, the civil servants etc. in a
country such as Belgium is very worrying indeed. In the lower
and middle levels of especially some local government
bureaucracies it has become almost normal that civil servants
are racist, and anti-racists and especially minorities have to
reckon with social isolation and verbal aggression.

In the good news department we see a move in quite a few
countries toward formal legitimation and recognition of the
security and intelligence services, often accompanied by the
introduction of some sort of accountability mechanism. In
Belgium, Norway, Portugal, in certain German states and in the
U.K. there is some movement on the cloak & dagger front. New,
more progressive legislation is expected, reform programs are
initiated or other adaptations made, although some would object
that these are all meaningless and cosmetic reforms.

In several countries we see operations in progress to clean up
the burdening heritage of the Cold War, the immense archives
holding files on considerable sections of the population. As
the public increasingly begins to question the sanctity of
intelligence files, security service managers realise the
potential risks of being tarnished by embarrassing disclosures
about long-forgotten skeletons in the closet. Historians,
journalists and others begin to grasp the potential value of
vast intelligence archives for students of the labour movement,
progressive culture and cult figures, national and
international politics etc., and we can now envisage a
situation in which not some secret service employees but
professional archivists, historians and judicial authorities
will decide on whether or not certain information should to be
kept from the public. In the U.S., Canada, Australia,
Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands initiatives to reach
some form of openness have met with varying degrees of success.
Elsewhere, the intelligence archives have been or will be
extensively weeded or even destroyed unless the administrators
are fully confident that no future government would ever
contemplate some form of access to old records.

A most interesting trend that can be witnessed in several
European countries as well as on an international level (e.g.
Trevi) is the gradual convergence of intelligence and policing.
This complicated process can be attributed to the introduction
of new information management methods and technologies in the
police, but also to the fact that law enforcement and security
services increasingly deal with the same opponents and
phenomena such as organised crime, corruption, extreme right
street violence and terrorism. On the level of methods and
doctrines there are also clear overlaps, in that certain
sections of the police increasingly adopt so-called "proactive"
methods of crime fighting. Infiltration, the extensive
monitoring of communications, covert observations, the
deployment of agents-provocateur, so-called "data
surveillance", but also the use of scientific analysis methods
by the police all betray a new orientation on intelligence not
only as a tool but as a principle. I would go as far as to
signal a paradigm shift in that the main goal in countering
serious forms of crime is no longer "getting the bad guys
behind bars" but incapacitating the criminal organization in
the hope of rendering harmless the menace as such. The judicial
settlement then becomes only a necessary formality to which lip
service is paid, but the prison system is in fact seen as an
inadequate means in the fight against organised crime.

Design and Sources of This Report

The intention of this concise report is to provide the
interested reader with some basic information on the
intelligence and especially the security services in most of
the European countries. Such information would seem
indispensable for an informed debate on European domestic
security cooperation and the problems associated with it. A
recent example of such a problem could be the current backstage
debate between senior civil servants and intelligence
representatives on what categories of "subjects" from an
intelligence point of view will be stored in the Schengen
Information System to allow surveillance throughout the entire
Schengen area. Reportedly most of the participating countries
show little enthusiasm over the Greek desire to register all
their draft dodgers, and other countries such as France or
Spain also try to introduce their anomalities, i.e. the persons
that they consider to be threats to the state or public order.
Such a debate, it seems, should not be limited to (and
virtually decided by) a closed group of professionals, but
should take place in democratically elected bodies such as the
European Parliament. An uninformed constituency will always run
after the facts.

While this is not intended as an academic report and only a few
footnotes are included, something should be said about the
sources that were used. There seem to be no comprehensive
studies, encyclopedias or similar basic works in which
information of this kind can be found. The book that comes
closest is probably Jeffrey Richelson's Foreign Intelligence
Organizations (1988), but even this pioneering work only has
the U.K., Italy, West Germany, and France in common with the
present report. Comparative intelligence studies is still a
very new field from which no contributions could be expected to
base this report on. To be perfectly clear, this report does
not pretend to be a comparative study, since at this stage no
substantial analyses or comparisons are attempted. The still
scarce journals and magazines specifically dedicated to
intelligence such as Intelligence and National Security and Top
Secret proved to be of little use for providing basic material
on the lesser-known services. Besides, most of the (better)
journals (e.g. the International Journal for Intelligence and
Counterintelligence, Unclassified, Defense Intelligence
Journal, Foreign Intelligence Literary Scene, Covert Action
Information Bulletin) are primarily oriented on the North-
American scene.

It is relatively easy to get information on the security and
intelligence establishment of some countries. The German and
Dutch services for example are regulated by law, their
organizational structures, dimensions and budgets are at least
partly known. Their operations, especially the failures receive
some coverage in the national press, and their functioning and
even their existence has been the subject of public debate. In
countries where all of this is not the case, it proved
virtually impossible on short notice and without extensive
visits and interviews to get an adequate impression of the
security and intelligence apparatus. Furthermore, the language
is sometimes a problem: the author of this report does not read
Portuguese, Greek or Turkish.

Most of the literature on intelligence concerns itself only
with one country or even one service. Some rather good and
revealing books are available on the French services, and the
German situation is quite well documented through the services
of the Burgerrechte and Polizei (Civil Liberties and Police)
working group at the Freie Universit„t Berlin and the
unsurpassed weekly magazine Der Spiegel. In other countries
such as Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and
Austria, activists or critical journalists have documented the
situation from their specific point of view.

Quite a lot of information was derived from the invaluable
Paris biweekly Intelligence Newsletter, and for the rest
newspaper clippings and some interviews and conversations over
the last four years provided the raw material on which this
report is based. A rather extensive survey was mailed to all of
the relevant ministries of the EC countries, but only Belgium,
Germany, the Irish Republic, Greece and Luxembourg reacted by
sending some documentation, for which I want to express my
sincere thanks. Needless to say, none of the information in
this report is drawn from classified sources unless they have
been published or discussed in public first.

Unfortunately, the available material reflects only a very
small part of what really happens in the proverbial shadowy
world of the "secret services". Readers are reminded that
misinformation is an essential element of any intelligence
operation, and that the information contained in this report
does not necessarily cover all aspects or activities of the
services described herein. Fragmented anecdotes of one or two
operations that took place five or ten years ago do not give a
reliable impression of the current modus operandi or
organizational doctrine of a specific service, especially
considering the drastic changes in the world around 1990. The
reader is referred to another report published by this author
in early 1993, The State of Europe, for more information on the
political, human rights and civil liberties context in each of
the countries.

Some of the clippings and reports that I collected over the
years later turned out to be inaccurate or outright
disinformation. Some of the services are described in this
report on the basis of partly outdated material, but in such
cases more current information was not available or I am simply
unaware of the new situation. I will attempt to use this report
as a starting point to bring together more and newer
information in order to come to a better documented (and
footnoted) report planned for 1994. Readers are therefore
encouraged to send photocopies or draw my attention to any new
information that could be useful for this project, as well as
to inform me of their criticisms.

Amsterdam, April 1993

Peter Klerks



In the mid-1960s Austria already had its scandal over extensive
political police activities: the Staatspolizei (Stapo) had
assembled 1,156,000 dossiers (a considerable part of them
dating back to the Nazi government of Second World War), and
several leading mainstream politicians and other dignitaries
had to experience what it means to have your private life
discussed in public. A commission was installed, in 1965 some
56,000 files were apparently destroyed (or archived on
microfilm) and the whole affair was soon forgotten.

In 1990 information from some of these "destroyed" files
surfaced again in new investigations. In that same year the
political police encountered new criticism when it became known
that the Stapo performed extensive tasks in supplying firms
with information on employees and applicants. Subsequently
nearly 20,000 Austrians applied to see their security files.
Government officials told the privacy council that foreign
corporations considering investments in Austria had been
assured that they would get "stapogeprfte Arbeitnehmerware".
This was later denied by the Minister of the Interior. The
Austrian Ministry of Defence's Heeresnachrichtenamt (HNA, army
intelligence bureau) and Heeresabwehramt (HAA, army security
bureau) claimed they had been "forced to supply the Americans"
with information routinely collected on Austrian citizens under
the threat of an all-out intelligence embargo.

Nearly all the citizens who had requested to see their files
were told that no files were kept on them. In a number of
cases, sometimes due to poor coordination between the police
and the Ministry, there were strong indications that files were
in fact kept in spite of official denials. The occasional
dossiers that were released showed that the police had been
overzealous: for instance at least until the mid-1980s
participating in a Volksbegehren (referendum) would be entered
in one's file, even though such referenda are part of the
constitutional democratic procedures in Austria. While in the
1960s and early seventies the traditional communists (mainly
the Austrian communist party (KP™, representing less than 1% of
the voters) got most of the attention, in later years the anti-
nuclear campaigners, the student movement, pacifists and those
living in communes gradually took the lead in filling the Stapo

In the 1980s a fragmentation of political and social protest
into a myriad of sometimes very small groups took place. The
Stapo justifies drawing up extensive reports on even the most
insignificant meetings by pointing to that one well-known
participant who is believed to be a key figure and should
therefore be closely followed. Also the German doctrine of
"Befassung mit anschlagrelevanten Themen" (involvement with
attempt-relevant themes) is introduced to rationalise
registering and infiltrating individuals and groups voicing or
engaging in protests against gene technology, computer
technology, environmental pollution, the military, EC politics,
etc. To put it somewhat exaggerated, one could say that if ever
anywhere (in Europe) an act of sabotage was committed against a
research plant, a corporation or some other symbol or
installation, this appears to legitimize monitoring everyone
who holds critical views on that subject. From the examples
known so far it seems that once an individual has come to the
attention of the Stapo because of being a member of an
"extremist" organization, organising a protest manifestation,
or other such conspicuous acts, a file is opened on him or her
and all further activities, innocent though they may seem to
the untrained eye, are registered for further analysis.
Membership of Amnesty International, writing a letter to a
newspaper, going on a holiday, attending progressive academic
or other study groups, signing petitions, contacting
journalists, etc., all of these warrant an entree in one's

The political police in Austria has never been organizationally
separated from the ordinary police. Its tasks have been
fulfilled by the regular police authorities with the Federal
Ministry of the Interior on top. The state security police is
one of the five "groups" (Gruppe II/C) in the Directorate-
General for Public Security in the Ministry. Furthermore there
are security directorates (Sicherheits-direktionen) for the
provinces, and district offices (in the countryside) or
separate police directorates (in major cities). The
Staatspolizei's task has always been to protect the
constitutional order, but also to execute some administrative
functions such as the issuing of passports, the registration of
foreigners and the regulation of associations and gatherings.

Internationally Austria takes part in several intelligence
exchange networks and regular meetings (cf. the Wiener Club),
and it has observer status with the Trevi Group.

In 1990 the Staatspolizei numbered about 775 functionaries with
an estimated annual budget of close to one billion Schilling.
According to the Ministry of the Interior it held some 59,000
files. In 1991 new legislation on the security police was
enacted which introduced for the first time a limited judicial
and parliamentary control over the Stapo (Busch 1992). Under
the new law a complaint procedure is introduced, and
information on individuals may not be collected and registered
for purely preventive means. Yet the law contains such flexible
and ambiguous formulations as to enable virtually all
registrations under some pretext or other. Civil servants are
held to cooperate with the Stapo in any investigations and the
service has access to almost any information it would require.
Trade unions and privacy jurists have protested against the
Sicherheitspolizeigesetz calling it an "Emmentaler in privacy

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