Belgian military intelligence looking for 81 people to strengthen the service
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Belgian military intelligence looking for 81 people to strengthen the service

Credit: Belga

Belgium’s Chief of Defence launched a call to all officers and non-commissioned officers in the military to join its intelligence service (Adiv), as a result of the ongoing manhunt for Jürgen Conings, which put Adiv in a bad light.

It concerns an internal call to strengthen the service by 81 people in various fields (political/military, CYBER, MR, AIR, NAV, CBRN, among others), reports Het Nieuwsblad.

In an internal communication, Chief of Defence Admiral Michel Hofman stressed that “such a reinforcement is fully in line with [his] previously set priorities,” which have to be accelerated for the proper functioning of Defence.

“The events of the last two weeks have sent shock waves through the country and our organisation,” he added.

On Wednesday, Belgium’s Defence Minister Ludivine Dedonder acknowledged in the House of Representatives that there is “a chronic shortage of personnel at Adiv,” and added that this call concerns “an internal shift, not a structural solution.”

In the meantime, the manhunt for Conings, who disappeared over two weeks ago after allegedly stealing an arsenal of deadly weapons from a military barracks, is still ongoing and entered Day 16 on Thursday 3 June.

Conings had already been monitored by intelligence agencies because of his extreme right-wing political views, and was even on an official terrorist watchlist alongside members of IS.

A timeline of and more information about the manhunt for Conings can be found here.

The Brussels Times