The e-book that each candidate for an agent place on the DGSE should learn | EUROtoday

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VHave you dreamed of getting espresso with Anne, a counter-proliferation officer within the cafeteria of the Mortier barracks, the headquarters of the French providers? Or to have an extended dialogue with Nicolas, head of DGSE submit in an enemy nation? To hear him inform how he escapes the surveillance of rival spies? Or how he was taught to recruit a supply? It's a humorous e-book that Jean-Christophe Notin has simply printed by Taillandier. Her Secret agent manufacturing facility is a group of interviews – licensed – with a number of the holders of one of many 230 professions within the DGSE.

In his work, no revelation. No feat of arms. No soiled tips. But merely the detailed account of the job descriptions or mission letters of those that selected to work within the shadows for the tricolor flag. Notin tries to study extra in regards to the artwork of turning into a French spy. We study that to recruit an excellent supply, you want empathy, or that French spies don’t recruit utilizing krompromats like their Russian colleagues, however as an alternative supply visas or medical care to those that comply with give up, which creates more healthy relations with the one who betrays his nation or the terrorist group which pursuits France. We additionally uncover {that a} huge database makes it attainable to detect the hyperlinks of this or that particular person with a kind of pleasant group. But the brand new recruit doesn’t have entry to it earlier than a number of years of service.

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Even if Notin met spies within the area, unlawful immigrants or members of the particular forces, we’re removed from the Legends Office or, in one other register,OSS 117. And we’re getting nearer to workplace life. But that is the nice benefit of this e-book: telling intimately and with out fantasies the each day lifetime of DGSE brokers, a few of whom entered by a really selective competitors (1,000 candidates for 20 attaché positions). Others by direct recruitment into the armies (20% of the workforce) or by easy contract for sure particular missions (after an extended course of). Among the interviews, that of Lionel, the executive director (DA) of “la Boîte”, a former prefect, and as such considerably the HR director of the DGSE who, this appears his solely originality, reveres Arthur Rimbaud of whom he displayed a poster in his workplace. Of course, the DGSE has not fully change into a glass home. But now, to recruit its brokers (800 recruitments per 12 months), it holds stands in engineering faculties and multiplies posts on social networks resembling LinkedIn, so as to entice the most effective profiles.

Recruitment and secret funds

The recruitment course of is lengthy, six to 9 months. “Because between the moment someone has expressed an interest and the moment they actually go to work for us,” explains Lionel, “they undergo a psychological evaluation, a security investigation and they must obtain a special security clearance. We carry out an extremely rigorous security investigation which leads to the exclusion of agents whose profile initially interested us. For example, we need people who speak Farsi, but if you have family in Iran, that family can be used against you. So, having family in a sensitive country – it’s not about being dual nationals, we have a lot of dual nationals at the DGSE – can be prohibitive. You must not have a criminal record, you must have exemplary life behavior. You must not use drugs. If you have a gaming addiction, that's a vulnerability. »

The DA, who also manages the ongoing training of agents (no question of entrusting it to an external service provider) and the management of their careers, also checks the agents' expense reports… And in particular the use of the famous secret funds. The overall amount of these, all secret services combined, the DGSI, the DRM, etc., represented in 2023 the sum of 76 million euros each year (but the DGSE is only the recipient of one part). With this clarification: “These funds are controlled by a parliamentary institution, the Special Funds Verification Commission (CVFS), which has a monopoly on control. She controls everything, and in detail. There can be, I say this very clearly, losses – an agent can very well lose sums, generally very small sums – in which case, immediately, there is an audit. Everyone must account for funds that could have disappeared for reason X or Y. It is very rare, but we are able to justify all the funds granted to us to the nearest euro. The credibility and professionalism of our agents are at stake. »

And this sometimes borders on astonishing meticulousness: “When an agent has coffee,” explains Lionel, “he should present supporting documentation explaining why he used particular funds to ask somebody. It's regular. These are funds of a selected nature and it’s completely important that we’re capable of have impeccable, good, exhaustive traceability. We didn't have any deviations that we weren't capable of justify. » No, secret funds, even once they depart the Bank of France within the type of notes, aren’t meant to vanish into the wild… This is how myths are shattered.

DGSE. The Secret Agent Factory, by Jean-Christophe Notin, 366 pages, 20.90 euros.