Sigurnosno-informativna Služba - History - 1993-2002 - Intelligence Community

Intelligence Community

The intelligence community goals and tasks were set by the Joint National Security Committee (SONS) and the Intelligence Community Coordination Committee (KOOZ). SONS was in charge of directing and coordinating state ministries in conducting national security operations, whereas KOOZ was responsible for the execution of tasks given by SONS.

The core of the intelligence community consisted of four intelligence agencies:

  • Croatian Intelligence Service (HIS), the foreign intelligence and analysis agency; it was the only agency authorized to conduct operations abroad, permitted to co-operate with the agencies of friendly nations.
  • Service for the Protection of the Constitutional Order (Croatian: Služba za zaštitu ustavnog poretka (SZUP)), the domestic intelligence and internal security agency. For a time it was the country's main agency for both internal and foreign intelligence.
  • Security Intelligence Service of the Ministry of Defence (Croatian: Sigurnosno-informativna služba, SIS)
  • Directorate of Intelligence Affairs of the Croatian Army Headquarters (ObU GSOSRH)

In addition, part of the community was the Ministry of Defence's Department of International Military Co-operation, which was not an intelligence agency as such but it collected intelligence data through official diplomatic and military contacts, as well as through official contacts through military envoys and attaches of Croatia's government.

The Croatian President provided guidelines for UNS and the Croatian intelligence community operations. The UNS director and state ministers assigned tasks to the services under their authority. The yearly operational plan of the intelligence community was prepared by KOOZ and it included projects and operative actions in which two or more services were required to take part. SONS approved the yearly operational plan of the intelligence community and supervised its implementation. Aside from the above mentioned UNS and the agencies, a wider security-system circle also included the Criminal Police, the Military Police, the Customs Service, and the Financial Police, whose representatives could be invited to participate in the KOOZ sessions.

During the 1990s, and especially after the war, the regime used the intelligence agencies for political purposes-not only to harass the opposition but also-in the case of certain high-ranking members of the Tudjman regime-as a means of shoring up their own power against that of others within the inner circle. These services, chiefly the SZUP, the SIS, and the HIS (headed by Tuđman's son Miroslav Tuđman), were used for political manipulation, blackmail, and by insiders to facilitate lining their own pockets through insider knowledge of privatization deals. At one point, there were even allegations that the services were misused in a Croatian soccer championship to help the team favored by Tuđman, an ardent soccer fan.

The complete cadre of the SIS was taken from the former Socialist Republic of Croatia's Republička služba državne sigurnosti, commonly known as UDBA, whose orders were given by the Federal Service Center in Belgrade. The transfer was made thanks to its leader Josip Perković and his informal agreement with Franjo Tuđman. From Ministry of Internior, the Service went under jurisdiction of Croatian Ministry of Defence. It was initially politicized, supporting the ruling HDZ party and its control over the military. The SIS was restructured and de-politicized after the end of the war, diversifying its operations and departments to include the Croatian Navy and the Croatian Air Force, counterintelligence, criminal investigations and security for Croatia's military leaders. Although responsible solely for defense intelligence, the SIS was believed to have conducted intelligence gathering operations in foreign countries of importance to Croatia.

Read more about this topic:  Sigurnosno-informativna Služba, History, 1993-2002

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