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National Intelligence Service
Εθνική Υπηρεσία Πληροφοριών
EYP-logo.jpg
Agency overview
Formed May 9, 1953 as the Central Intelligence Service
Jurisdiction Government of Greece
Agency executive Chrisochoidis Michalis, Director
Website
www.nis.gr

The National Intelligence Service (NIS or EYP) (Greek: Εθνική Υπηρεσία Πληροφοριών, ΕΥΠ Ethniki Ypiresia Pliroforion, EYP) is the national intelligence agency of Greece. Its headquarters are located in Athens.

Contents

Mission

The NIS is tasked with safeguarding national security. The mandate is implemented through:

Personnel

The Director of the National Intelligence Service is Kostandinos Bikas.

The agency is directly responsible to the Minister of the Interior, who can appoint or dismiss the Director.

NIS employs the following categories of personnel:

  • Permanent civilian personnel.
  • Scientific civilian personnel, serving on the basis of private contracts of employment.
  • A number of officers on active service in the Armed Forces, the Coast Guard or the Hellenic Police. An unspecified number of national field agents are also employed.

History

The agency had the name Central Intelligence Service (KYP, Greek: ΚΥΠ) from May 9, 1953 until August 27, 1986, when its name changed to National Intelligence Service, by ministerial decree 1645/86, issued on August 28, 1986.

Recent Controversies

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Assistance to Bosnian Serbs

According to University of Amsterdam professor C. Wiebes, EYP systematically sabotaged NATO operations in the mid-1990s, in an attempt to aid Bosnian Serb nationalists, whom Greece generally supported during the Yugoslav wars. . In his report for the Dutch government, entitled Intelligence en de oorlog in Bosnie 1992-1995, Wiebes claims that EYP leaked classified NATO military plans (to which, as an allied intelligence service, it had access) to the Serb Bosnian leadership, and often to General Ratko Mladic himself, during the summer of 1995. Eventually, Wiebes states in the report, NATO allies ceased sharing NATO military plans with the Greek authorities.

Telephone tapping case 2004-2005

The agency found itself once again in the eye of the storm following the uncovering the Greek telephone tapping case 2004-2005, in March, 2005. The scandal was uncovered by way of the suicide of Vodafone software engineer Costas Tsalikidis, who is suspected of having assisted agents of foreign intelligence services install monitoring software in the mobile phone company's central computers. The software allowed them to eavesdrop on the personal phone calls of the Greek prime minister and numerous other political and military officials, including the head of EYP, during Greece's hosting of the Summer Olympic Games. Other bugged cell numbers included those of the chair of the Stop the War Coalition, many journalists, as well as Arab and Muslim residents in Greece. A subsequent government report discovered that the antennae facilitating the wiretaps were located in apartments near the United States Embassy in Athens. EYP was forced to take the blame for its inability to protect the privacy of the country's leadership.

Abductions of Pakistanis

At around the same time, EYP received even more negative publicity when members of the Pakistani community in Greece came forward and accused Greek intelligence agents of abducting them and interrogating them in secret about potential extremist connections with Muslim fundamentalists abroad. The abductions, which allegedly took place prior to (and were probably related with security issues concerning) Greece's hosting of the Olympic Games, received wide publicity in Greece, particularly since some of the abductees claimed to have been tortured and threatened with loaded handguns while being interrogated. In September, 2006, the Pakistanis allegedly identified the locations in which they were taken by their interrogators, in Halkoutsi, eastern Attica; Aspropyrgos, west of Athens; Mount Parnitha, northern Athens; and Aghia Paraskevi, in north-east Athens. At least one of these locations is reportedly part of a Greek military base. Despite the strong allegations, EYP has denied any participation in the abductions and has refused making further comments.

Role in CIA Extraordinary Rendition Program

According to information published[1] by Greek newspaper To Pontiki, EYP assisted the CIA in its extraordinary rendition program from 2002 onwards. According to the publication, at least thirteen CIA flights carrying renditioned prisoners were given permission to land in Greece during that time.

See also

Notes

External links


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