Danish Defence Intelligence Service
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Logo of DDIS
|Formed||1 October 1950|
|Jurisdiction||Government of Denmark|
|Annual budget||975 million kr. (2019)|
|Parent Agency||Ministry of Defence|
The Danish Defence Intelligence Service, DDIS (Danish: Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste, FE), is a Danish intelligence agency, responsible for Denmark’s foreign intelligence, as well as being the Danish military intelligence service. DDIS is a department under the Ministry of Defence and works under the responsibility of the Minister of Defence. It is housed at Kastellet, Copenhagen.
The DDIS gathers, analyses, and disseminates information concerning conditions of importance to Denmark’s security, and to the security of Danish military units deployed on international missions. Intelligence activities include collection of information of political, financial, scientific and military interest.
The current name and basic organization dates from 1 October 1967, when Defence Staff's Intelligence Department (Danish: Forsvarsstabens Efterretningsafdeling), was detached from Defence Staff (Danish: Forsvarsstaben) by decree of the Ministry of Defence, as a separate authority of its own, located directly under the Ministry of Defence.
The origin can be traced back to the General Staff's Intelligence Section (Danish: Generalstabens Efterretningssektion) created 1911 and the Naval Staff's Intelligence Section (Danish: Marinestabens Efterretningssektion) created 1920s & served in World War I & II. During the reconstruction of the Danish military following Denmark’s joining of NATO, these two intelligence services were merged on 1 October 1950, as Defence Staff's Intelligence Department as a department under the newly erected combined military staff, the Defence Staff.
The origin of the Danish military intelligence is uncertain. 1911 appears in one of the few histories of the Danish military intelligence. However 1903 has also been suggested as the year of the establishment of the military intelligence.
During the Cold War, the military intelligence as well as the intelligence section of the police spied against and recorded the activities of the Danish left wing, communists and pacifists, among the later organisations and personalities in the Danish chapter of the War Resisters' International, the Danish Campaign against Nuclear Weapons and the Conscientious Objectors' Union. This is documented in the Danish Judge Advocate General's Corps: Report on the occasion of the examination by the Judge Advocates of certain matters related to Defence Intelligence Service and Conscientious Objectors' Union etc. in the period 1970-1978 (1999).
In August 2020 Lars Findsen was relieved of duty "for the time being" and two other employees were also suspended after it was revealed the intelligence agency had broken laws and misled the intelligence watchdog. The agency had been spying on Danish citizens from 2014 to 2020. An investigation was launched after whistleblowers handed over information. The agency is accused of failing to investigate espionage in the armed services and of obtaining and passing on information about Danish citizens. The agency is also accused of concealing offences and failing to inform the intelligence agency watchdog.
Defence minister Trine Bramsen said an investigation would be launched into the claims. She said the investigation would be carried out "the utmost seriousness" and "It is important for me to emphasise that the fight against the threats against Denmark must not stop while the investigation is carried out". Kaspar Wester of Danish news site OLFI said to BBC: "The supervisory agency suggests that Lars Findsen has played an active part in withholding information or even deliberately misinforming the supervisory agency. The fact that the head of the Danish Military Intelligence Service is a willing participant in circumventing the agency tasked with holding his own intelligence service legally accountable is mind-blowing and must be deeply concerning to the minister." Wester said the investigation would aim to discover how the scandal had happened and how long it had gone on for.
- Executive Office
- Collection & Operations
- Development and Resources
- Centre for Cyber Security
Supervision and oversight
Four organizations, independent of each other, do various auditing of FE for unauthorised conduct.
The service is directly responsible to the Defence Minister, which on behalf of the Government of Denmark supervises the overall actives and conduct of the service. The DDIS is, as Danish Security Intelligence Service is, subject to regularly control by the Wamberg committee (Wamberg-udvalget), established in 1964, which is controlled by the Ministry of Justice. It is also subject to Folketingets control committee, which was established by law no. 378 of July 6, 1988. And finally, as all Danish government agencies, FE is subject to control by Rigsrevisionen (Government audit committee), to ensure that the money granted to the institution is really spent as Folketinget has decided.
- Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) Its civilian counterpart
- Danish Defence Intelligence Service (19 June 2015). "Budget". fe-ddis.dk (in Danish). Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- William Christmas-Møller's Obersten og Kommandøren: Efterretningstjeneste, sikkerhedspolitik og socialdemokrati 1945-55. Gyldendal, 1995 p. 25. and p. 29.
- Underbilag A. til bilag 247 in: Dokumentfortegnelse og særlige Bilag. Kommissionen til Undersøgelse og Overvejelse af Hæren og Flaadens fremtidige Ordning / the report from the Danish Defence Commission of 1922. Copenhagen, . J. H. Schultz, 1922. - 306 pp. ; p. 299
- Rohleder, Niels (18 August 1999). "FE-Chief Went Beyond What is Considered Appropriate". Informationen (in Danish). Dagbladet Information. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "Danish military intelligence head Lars Findsen suspended". BBC News. 24 August 2020. Retrieved 24 August 2020.