Intelligence service September 10, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in International Politics.
Some may have mentioned this already, but what of this here? In a report on the Syrian chemical weapons issue, one which suggests that Assad was not personally involved (something that, and I’m no fan of the man, would seem entirely likely given he would be aware of the counterproductive nature of any such use of those weapons in this conflict) it states:
The intelligence findings were based on phone calls intercepted by a German surveillance ship operated by the BND, the German intelligence service, and deployed off the Syrian coast, Bild am Sonntag said.
What precisely is a German intelligence ship doing off the coast of Syria in the first place? It’s a fascinating question in the sense that it reveals just how far flung intelligence operations appear to be. And it raises further questions. Are there German, French, Brazilian, or whoever, intelligence ships off the coast, of say, the PRC? Vast fleets of vessels listening in on other states, and non-state actors, communications. A sort of covert panopticon.
By the way, it’s worth noting that if the BND picked up a communication like this then most likely others would have done so too (and interesting too the way this crisis is unfolding, not least the Russian response in the last twenty-four hours. It will be telling if the Syrians bow to pressure from Moscow, or rather if they feel they have no choice but to).