by Wolf Richter, Testosterone Pit.com:
Brussels, the center of gravity of the European Union and seat of NATO Headquarters, not only teems with lobbyists, diplomats, military personnel, bureaucrats, politicians, Americans, and other weird characters from around the world, but also with spies.
“Brussels is one of the largest spy capitals in the world,” said Alain Winants, head of the Belgian State Security Service VSSE. He guesstimated that there’d be “several hundred” plying their trade at any one time, chasing after a broad array of topics, from trade issues to security policies.
Yet officially, the EU itself doesn’t have an intelligence service of its own. It’s dependent on the national intelligence services of the member states that supply it with “finished intelligence.” Officially. In reality, it has been building an intelligence apparatus of six services so far, some of them brand new, populated already by 1,300 specialists. But because they’re officially not conducting direct covert operations – though they do go overseas, including to Libya during the Arab Spring! – they simply deny being intelligence services.
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