Belgian General Information and Security Service
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The General Intelligence and Security Service (GISS), similar to the agency in the Netherlands as Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst (AIVD), and in French as Service Général du Renseignement et de la Sécurité (SGRS) is the Belgian military intelligence service under responsibility of the Minister of National Defense. It is one of two Belgian intelligence services, together with the civilian Belgian State Security Service.
The director of GISS is also called the Assistant Chief of Staff Intelligence and Security (ACOS IS), which is part of the Defense Staff of the Belgian military.
The Service has four divisions, the Intelligence Division, the Security Division, the Security Intelligence Division, and the Support Division.
Founded in 1915 at the front during World War I.
During the 1980s, a number of incidents including the Walloon Brabant supermarket killings, the activities of terrorist groups such as the Combatant Communist Cells and the neo-Nazi Westland New Post brought attention and criticism to the activities and ineffectiveness of the nation’s police and intelligence agencies.
In 1991, following two government enquiries, a permanent parliamentary committee known as the Committee I was established to bring these agencies, not previously subject to any outside control, under the authority of Belgium’s federal parliament. Legislation governing the missions and methods of these agencies was put in place in 1998.
The General Information and Security Service consists of four main Divisions:
- Div I: External intelligence, security
- Div CI: Counter-intelligence, security intelligence
- Div A: Service functionment (personnel, finance, logistics, communications, military attachés, etc.)
- Div S: Military security and security qualifications
- Lasoen, Kenneth (2015). "Les secrets du département de la guerre. Militaire inlichtingen 1830-1914". In Cools, Marc e.a. 1915-2015: Het verhaal van de Belgische militaire inlichtingen- en veiligheidsdienst. Antwerp: Maklu. p. 117.
- Lasoen, Kenneth (2017). "For Belgian Eyes Only. Intelligence Cooperation in Belgium". International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence (Submitted manuscript). 40 (3): 465. doi:10.1080/08850607.2017.1297110.
- Lasoen, Kenneth (2016). "185 Years of Belgian Security Service". Journal of Intelligence History. 15 (2): 98. doi:10.1080/16161262.2016.1145854.