The Director of the Belgian State Security Service considers that, despite every effort being made following the Brussels Airport and Maelbeek attacks, the Belgian intelligence service is still not armed to optimal levels against the terrorist threat. Jaak Raes considers, “We are not yet where we ought to be.”
Mr Raes indicates, “Out of respect for the attack victims, it is naturally vital to commemorate the March 22nd attacks. However, also out of respect for the victims, I consider that it is my duty, going forward, to further our intelligence service. At the moment, investigations linked to the attacks are still under way.”
He goes on, “We are gathering our own intelligence, as well as responding to questions raised by foreign intelligence services. We are both working with what we have, and working to our present optimal capabilities.”
Mr Raes stresses that greater attention has been given to counter-terrorism since the attacks. More resources have been provided, but the role of the State Security Service has also increased in various ways.
Compared to our counterparts abroad, such as the Netherlands, Sweden or Denmark, the Belgian State Security Security Service suffers by virtue of a lack of staff. Mr Raes says, “I do, however, thank the government for their efforts to date to help us fulfil our role. However we’re not there yet.”
He stresses that, “The workload per employee should reduce for us to continue to guarantee the expected quality.”
The Director of the Belgium State Security Service says, “This (my request) is also taken up in Comité R’s report.” Comité R is the permanent committee with responsibility for monitoring the activities of the Belgian intelligence and security services.