Sarkozy puts woman in charge of 'spy school'
Academy designed to stop infighting between rival intelligence chiefs
Monday 11 January 2010
President Nicolas Sarkozy is to create a "school for spies", whose principal job will be to discourage French intelligence chiefs from spying on, and fighting against, one another.
The first head of the new "intelligence academy" is likely to be named in the next few days. According to Le Monde, the Professor Dumbledore of the French spy world will be a woman with no previous experience of espionage. She is at present a senior figure in one of the grandes écoles, or elite university-level French colleges.
The job of the spy school will not be to teach aspiring James Bonds or Mata Haris how to hide bugs or choose dead letter drops or murder opponents with poisoned umbrellas (or toxic baguettes). The school – to be based in the Ecole Militaire, near the Eiffel Tower – will admit only senior spy chiefs. It will be, in effect, an espionage "staff academy", whose principal role will be to forge a single culture and esprit de corps from the complex, and often antagonistic, alphabet soup of the French spy world.
French intelligence and security agencies have often been accused of fighting one another as much as France's enemies. Their bosses have sometimes been associated with domestic political figures or factions and have occasionally become pawns in a power game.
President Sarkozy – who believes he was the victim of such practises during his rise to power – is determined to create a single French "intelligence community", based on the US model. His plan for a French equivalent of the US National Security Council – the Conseil de défense et de sécurité nationale (CDSN) – took shape by official decree on Christmas Eve. The CDSN will have an intelligence arm, uniting the chiefs of the six French spying and security agencies, the Conseil National du Renseignement or CNR. The chairman of both bodies will be President Sarkozy.
There will also be, for the first time, a "national intelligence coordinator", Bernard Bajolet, 60, whose task will be to ensure that the half-dozen different intelligence and security agencies cooperate with one another.
The new espionage academy will be created over the next six months with the same objective, according to Le Monde. Its job will be to instruct spy chiefs in the ethics and legal constraints of intelligence and counter-intelligence and to keep them abreast of the latest security threats and the latest espionage techniques.
Most of all, the academy will seek to "encourage a spirit of community", in which senior officials work willingly together and can be moved from agency to agency as they are promoted within the French intelligence hierarchy. There will be an intelligence "brevet" or diploma, recognised by all the spy organisations.
President Sarkozy has already simplified the French security world by merging the two, mutually-hating French equivalents of MI5, the Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire (DST) and the Renseignements Généraux (RG). The new single internal security agency – called the Direction Centrale du Renseignement Intérieur (DCRI) – is one of six which will participate in the new spy school.
The others include the main French external espionage agency, broadly equivalent to MI6, the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure (DGSE) and the two military spying and security agencies, La Direction du Renseignement Militaire (DSM) and La Direction de la Protection et de la Sécurité de la Défense (DPSD). The other participants will be specialised, anti-money laundering and anti-drug trafficking intelligence agencies.
- 3 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...