DGSE relocation pushed back by two years
The future DGSE headquarters in Vincennes, scheduled for 2028, will now not be ready until 2030. Work has not even begun yet.
The DGSE (Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure) is France’s external intelligence service. Operating all over the world, the agents of its operations department, or DO, and intelligence department, DR, have distinguished themselves recently in Africa and the Middle East. The service’s technical department, or DT, is France’s dedicated interceptions service, like Britain’s GCHQ or the NSA in the US.
Across the globe, spies gather in inconspicuous dens where they meet contacts and hold discreet conversations. This week, Intelligence Online explores the Grace Café in Paris, where official and semi-official representatives of the intelligence services from the surrounding embassies are often to be found.
Didier Pagnoux, who ran French Ercom from 2007 to 2012 and launched its cybersecurity and interception departments, is taking over as CEO of semi-public Emirati firm Katim as it looks to carve out a place in the country's ever-changing cyber landscape.
In the face of logistical and informational challenges and the new geopolitical landscape, the French joint defence staff is looking for ways to adjust and streamline its services. New moves could include dismantling the CPOIA and handing out part of its resources to other entities.
In the context of a new military programming law currently being debated in French parliament, the DGSE has received unexpected backing from several opposition parties who are pressing for the budget allocated to the service's organisational needs to be increased.
The French banker's new role as economic and business adviser to the UK prime minister Rishi Sunak caps a career in the City of London, where he has a solid network in financial, diplomatic and intelligence circles through the Legion d'Honneur.
Marc P., the former DGSE intelligence director sent to Singapore to reactivate the French foreign intelligence service's South East Asia networks, is starting to accept he won't get the DGSE's top job. The role would have crowned a marathon career in intelligence, in step with the organisation's twists and turns for three decades.
Hugely concerned about the origin of the intelligence that allowed the MIT to attack the Sulaymanyah airport on 7 April, the PUK has called on Baghdad to lead the investigation. It is also hoping to calm down the increasingly tense relations between the Talabani clan and Ankara.
France's five-year military appropriations bill, presented by the government on 5 April, contains some very positive developments for the intelligence community, including a budget at an all-time high. But some demands, revealed by Intelligence Online, have fallen on deaf ears.
After his last-minute appointment as head of France's Directorate of Military Intelligence (DRM) in April 2022, General Jacques Langlade de Montgros has been working hard to improve his unit's image, which was tainted by his predecessor's management of developments in Ukraine.
Intelligence Online has the details of DGSE director Bernard Emié's 24 March trip to Minsk, during which the French intelligence service attempted to act as a mediator with Alexander Lukashenko. Vladimir Putin confirmed the next day that Belarus had agreed to deploy tactical nuclear weapons on its soil, though a week later Lukashenko called for a truce between Moscow and Kyiv.