Belgium’s intelligence services are taking the possibility of Russian interference in upcoming elections seriously, according to information provided by the chief of military intelligence, Claude Van de Voorde, at a hearing with the Defence Commission of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives. Lieutenant-General Van de Voorde, who heads the Federal Military Intelligence and Security Service, SGRS, sent a note to the Ministry of Defence on the issue and an officer has been designated to head a task force that will be in charge of this problem.
Last week, Guy Rapaille, chairman of Committee R, which is in charge of monitoring the intelligence services, had disclosed to the press that he expected Russian interference in the October 2018 local government polls and legislative elections in 2019. He had no information on any financing of Belgian extreme-right parties by Russia but warned about the use of the Internet. The United States, which has substantial resources, was targeted by such attacks but did not even notice it, he stressed.
The new military intelligence chief said he was paying attention to “hybrid war”, which uses conventional and electronic means. Cyber-specialists are currently being recruited.