Jefferson Morley | October 12, 2018
France: General Board of External Security (DGSE)
The Direction Générale De La Sécurité Extérieure (DGSE) has focused its efforts on counterterrorism since a string of terror attacks in Paris in 2015.
France has also stationed many intelligence officers in Africa, which became apparent in 2016 when three DGSE agents were killed in a helicopter crash in Libya. The DGSE also concluded that Russia sought to influence France’s 2017 presidential elections by generating social media support for far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.
Some DGSE operations have caused controversy. In 1985, the DGSE was implicated in the sinking of the environmentalist ship Rainbow Warrior that was protesting French nuclear testing off of New Zealand. Bombs planted by DGSE agents sank the ship and killed one crew member. In 2012, a DGSE mission to save a hostage in Somalia led to the death of the hostage and two DGSE agents.
The DGSE’S budget in 2016 was 839 million Euros ($977 million). As of June 2017, the Director General of External Security was Bernard Emie.
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