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© Bundesheer / Christian Fahrngruber Nicolas Stockhammer, terrorism researcher at the University of Vienna

In the video: Lawyer Riedl on the BVT affair

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Is this

BAT

still able to act and what is the security policy aspect of the cause? Interview with terrorism expert Nicolas Stockhammer.

News: How can the

BAT affair

classify? What is the extent of this cause?

Nicolas Stockhammer: The affair is to be taken very seriously in the intensity it is currently unfolding, as the reputation of one of the most important security authorities in Austria is at stake. In some respects the cause of intrigue, corruption, interventions and misconduct has something of an operetta but also of a Shakespeare drama about it. It is about influence and power interests around the main domestic intelligence service of the republic. Who is involved inside the apparatus, is there specific, politically motivated outside influence? Has everything been lawful in the past, or have there been intrigues in the slipstream of the rule of law? These questions are at the forefront of heated political debates. Of course, the media discourse is also somewhat exaggerated and it is not uncommon for a party political conspiracy to be suspected for the time being. But: All these allegations must be investigated in any case, since an investigation is in the highest public interest.

Is the BVT currently still able to act?

That is to be answered in the affirmative in any case. It is a broadly based, functionally intact authority that also has 9, as it were, autonomous state offices. But: the current “scandal” can undoubtedly hinder smooth work processes, impair existing collaborations or, in general, reduce the scope of action of the BVT.

Also interesting: BVT: Gridling had known about it for a long time

You mention it – the cooperations. To what extent does the cause affect international cooperation? Is there currently communication between the secret services?essays and papers 123helpme

Simply negative. It is a massive international loss of trust that is happening to the authority from many quarters. Trust is the only and at the same time the hardest currency in this business that is not always clean. It will take a long time to compensate for this. The worst is the continuous washing of protective clothing of an apparatus that thrives on an image as a reliable partner in a world of professional secrecy. In addition, the disclosure of internal information is detrimental to a “secret service” per se. How can one credibly argue that one is a reliable custodian of secret information that a partner may possibly convey? Especially when the public prosecutor’s investigation targets the authority. Not a pleasant situation.

And is communication currently still taking place between the secret services?

At the working level, certainly, albeit under the premise of loss of trust based restrictions for the reasons just mentioned. In many places, people will be careful not to share sensitive data with an authority targeted by investigations in the current situation.

Let’s come to the security aspect of the cause. How realistic is it that the threat of terrorism has now increased as a result of the affair?

The threat of terrorism is always consistently high. Only the control competence or effectiveness could be affected by a weakened apparatus. From my point of view, this is not the case at the moment, as an authority usually remains systemically functional even in the event of personnel changes and internal investigations.

And who is responsible for counter-terrorism?

In Austria, the BVT, with its 9 regional offices, is the relevant police authority with special powers. There is a clear authority structure here, subdivided into units and other specialist departments. It is supported in its efforts to counter terrorism through cooperation with the two other local intelligence services (HNaA, AbwA) as well as extensive international cooperation with INTERPOL, EUROPOL, the FBI and numerous foreign partner services.

Who would fill this void if BVT were eliminated?

Something like that is difficult to imagine. The BVT is a constant in the Austrian security landscape. Here, too, structural changes, for example with regard to competencies and synergies with other national services, are possible and may even make sense.

Structural changes; the BVT is to be rebuilt. To what extent and how do you rate such a conversion?

It can be either a curse or a blessing. Some commentators have a German BND model in mind, according to which there could be a “super foreign secret service” in Austria with combined competencies in obtaining information from abroad (“foreign espionage”). Here it is important to exercise a sense of proportion and caution. Reforms in this area are possible, but they also have massive long-term effects. It is difficult to correct in retrospect what may have been systemically incorrectly thought, designed or implemented.

Who will then examine the BVT in the future?

As is the case now, primarily the responsible subcommittee for internal affairs in parliament.

© Bundesheer / Christian Fahrngruber Nicolas Stockhammer, terrorism researcher at the University of Vienna

In the video: Lawyer Riedl on the BVT affair

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Is this

BAT

still able to act and what is the security policy aspect of the cause? Interview with terrorism expert Nicolas Stockhammer.

News: How can the

BAT affair

classify? What is the extent of this cause?

Nicolas Stockhammer: The affair is to be taken very seriously in the intensity it is currently unfolding, as the reputation of one of the most important security authorities in Austria is at stake. In some respects the cause of intrigue, corruption, interventions and misconduct has something of an operetta but also of a Shakespeare drama about it. It is about influence and power interests around the main domestic intelligence service of the republic. Who is involved inside the apparatus, is there specific, politically motivated outside influence? Has everything been lawful in the past, or have there been intrigues in the slipstream of the rule of law? These questions are at the forefront of heated political debates. Of course, the media discourse is also somewhat exaggerated and it is not uncommon for a party political conspiracy to be suspected for the time being. But: All these allegations must be investigated in any case, since an investigation is in the highest public interest.

Is the BVT currently still able to act?

That is to be answered in the affirmative in any case. It is a broadly based, functionally intact authority that also has 9, as it were, autonomous state offices. But: the current “scandal” can undoubtedly hinder smooth work processes, impair existing collaborations or, in general, reduce the scope of action of the BVT.

Also interesting: BVT: Gridling had known about it for a long time

You mention it – the cooperations. To what extent does the cause affect international cooperation? Is there currently communication between the secret services?

Simply negative. It is a massive international loss of trust that is happening to the authority from many quarters. Trust is the only and at the same time the hardest currency in this business that is not always clean. It will take a long time to compensate for this. The worst is the continuous washing of protective clothing of an apparatus that thrives on an image as a reliable partner in a world of professional secrecy. In addition, the disclosure of internal information is detrimental to a “secret service” per se. How can one credibly argue that one is a reliable custodian of secret information that a partner may possibly convey? Especially when the public prosecutor’s investigation targets the authority. Not a pleasant situation.

And is communication currently still taking place between the secret services?

At the working level, certainly, albeit under the premise of loss of trust based restrictions for the reasons just mentioned. In many places, people will be careful not to share sensitive data with an authority targeted by investigations in the current situation.

Let’s come to the security aspect of the cause. How realistic is it that the threat of terrorism has now increased as a result of the affair?

The threat of terrorism is always consistently high. Only the control competence or effectiveness could be affected by a weakened apparatus. From my point of view, this is not the case at the moment, as an authority usually remains systemically functional even in the event of personnel changes and internal investigations.

And who is responsible for counter-terrorism?

In Austria, the BVT, with its 9 regional offices, is the relevant police authority with special powers. There is a clear authority structure here, subdivided into units and other specialist departments. It is supported in its efforts to counter terrorism through cooperation with the two other local intelligence services (HNaA, AbwA) as well as extensive international cooperation with INTERPOL, EUROPOL, the FBI and numerous foreign partner services.

Who would fill this void if BVT were eliminated?

Something like that is difficult to imagine. The BVT is a constant in the Austrian security landscape. Here, too, structural changes, for example with regard to competencies and synergies with other national services, are possible and may even make sense.

Structural changes; the BVT is to be rebuilt. To what extent and how do you rate such a conversion?

It can be either a curse or a blessing. Some commentators have a German BND model in mind, according to which there could be a “super foreign secret service” in Austria with combined competencies in obtaining information from abroad (“foreign espionage”). Here it is important to exercise a sense of proportion and caution. Reforms in this area are possible, but they also have massive long-term effects. It is difficult to correct in retrospect what may have been systemically incorrectly thought, designed or implemented.

Who will then examine the BVT in the future?

As is the case now, primarily the responsible subcommittee for internal affairs in parliament.

© Bundesheer / Christian Fahrngruber Nicolas Stockhammer, terrorism researcher at the University of Vienna

In the video: Lawyer Riedl on the BVT affair

Read news for 1 month now for free! * * The test ends automatically.

More on this ▶

NEWS FROM THE NETWORK

Win true wireless earphones from JBL now! (E-media.at)

New access (yachtrevue.at)

8 reasons why it’s great to be single (lustaufsleben.at)

Salmon shrimp burger with wasabi mayonnaise and honey cucumber (gusto.at)

In the new trend: Shock-Down – how long can the economy withstand lockdowns? (Trend.at)

The 35 best family series to laugh and feel good (tv-media.at)

E-Scooter in Vienna: All providers and prices 2020 in comparison (autorevue.at)

Comments

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Connect with Facebook

Interior Minister Herbert Kickl (FPÖ) announced the procedure in the on Thursday

BAT affair

defended as completely legally compliant. His style of answering caused anger among the SPÖ and the Greens.

Even before answering the questions, Kickl sharply criticized the applicants in the ranks of the Greens. He attested that the authors of the request were irresponsible. Because they had put forward “false and long since refuted allegations” in the grounds for the urgent inquiry, such as the portrayal of the house search “as if the wild hordes had invaded Kabul”. Before answering the 31 “urgent” questions for him, the head of department asked the MPs a number of his own questions, which were intended to underpin his position.

In the direction of the applicant, he asked whether their opinion was the task of a supreme service supervisory authority to participate in the investigation of the cause or not in the event of suspected criminal activities by employees. His opinion is clear, according to Kickl – and referred to the Code of Criminal Procedure, according to which he or his department are even obliged to report such a suspected case.

Reference to the legal situation

With reference to the legal situation, the interior minister also answered some of the questions put to him. When asked what specific allegations he was (provisional)

Suspension gridling

s, he explained that, as a service supervisory authority, he was obliged to take this step under civil service law, since the allegation of abuse of office related to Gridling’s direct activity in the BVT.

When asked whether he, his cabinet staff or Secretary General of the Interior Ministry, Peter Goldgruber, were involved in the planning of the house search, Kickl answered in the affirmative: On February 27 (one day before the house search) a briefing took place at which, among other things, the leading prosecutor was involved. Goldgruber’s suggestion that the Task Force to Fight Street Crime (EGS) be tasked with securing the house search was accepted. He himself was also aware of this briefing, said Kickl – he had not informed other members of the government about it.

Quite normal process

The decisive factor for the decision in favor of the EGS was to use a unit that had no points of contact with those involved in the case.