Increased espionage activity in Norway during Trident Juncture
PST confirms that the reporting of espionage activity has increased during the NATO Trident Juncture exercise.
At the same time, police security services are saying that increased espionage is in line with what they expected before the exercise when the level of alertness was raised, Norwegian TV 2 writes.
– “There has been a real increase in events because a NATO exercise of this format compresses much of what foreign intelligence is interested in. Trident Juncture is an obvious goal. We have expected that, and have seen the increase,” says communications director Trond Hugubakken in PST to TV 2.
Orthodontist Per-Thomas Bøe believes that the increase in reporting is due to the public being encouraged to be aware and report anything suspicious, even if there was at least doubt. However, he will not comment on whether security-threatening activities or espionage against the Armed Forces have been identified during the exercise.
Prior to the exercise, the Head of Department, Tore Jensen urged the Security Defense Department (FSA) of the Army Soldiers that reporting one too many is better than too little, through the Heimeverns (Home Guard) magazine.
According to The New York Times, Russians have hired Norwegian farmers to follow the exercise activities. This information comes from US officials. Neither PST nor the Norwegian Armed Forces will comment to TV 2.
The Norwegian Armed Force’s Security Division
Established in 2003 as a consequence of the closure of the Armed Forces Upper Command and FOST. They started with 11 positions, today the department has grown considerably and they have good capacity in the field of comprehensive security service.
There are three security disciplines: Preventive Security, Operational Safety and Operational Security Service, AKA Counter-Intelligence.
As one of three main tasks, the Armed Forces Security Division (FSA) identifies and counteracts security-threatening activities, that is – Foreign intelligence activities in and against the Norwegian Armed Forces.
In the regulations «Instructions for the Security Service in the Armed Forces» it is stated that:
§ 28. Military contra-intelligence in Norway in peacetime. In Norwegian territory in peacetime, the FSA shall:
- Compile and analyze information about security threats against the Armed Forces.
- Provide information from foreign and national military authorities to The Police’s Security Service (PST).
- Be the professional authority and contact point in the Armed Forces for military counter-intelligence.
- To the extent necessary, share information with PST, E-Service, NSM, Allies and Bilateral Partners.
- Coordinate the exercise of military action aimed at detecting and preventing illegal intelligence activities against the Armed Forces and its activities.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today