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2000 08 04 * Ekstra Bladet * Surveillance for millions * Bo Elkjaer, Kenan Seeberg

New giant domes in protected nature area to be used for surveillance, admits the Danish Defence Intelligence Service


The sole purpose of the three 30-metre-high domes currently being built by the Ministry of Defence on protected moorland near the Danish town of Hjørring is espionage. This is openly admitted by the Danish Defence Intelligence Service. Previously the building project has been justified by stating that the domes shall be used for 'communication with Danish troops stationed abroad'.

Lieutenant-colonel Carsten Nielsen, of the Danish Defence Intelligence Service, now candidly tells us that the three new domes - each of which are just as high as Copenhagen's Round Tower - shall be used for surveillance.

Okay, but what does that mean?
"It means that they shall be used for gathering information, electronically that is," says lieutenant-colonel Carsten Nielsen, DDIS.

So they have nothing to do with military communication? 
"You mean communication from Denmark to our own forces in Yugoslavia?"

Yes, for instance.

"I don't rule out that this type of capacity is involved, but that is not the project's objective."

With these words, lieutenant-colonel Carsten Nielsen knocks the bottom out of what has served as the official explanation up to now, i.e. that the facilities are intended for communication with Danish soldiers in the Balkans and with Danish UN observers in the Middle East. This explanation is incorrect. The facilities will be used for espionage.


Security of the realm

"In a manner of speaking, we're modernizing our potential for obtaining information electronically, just like we have been doing since the Second World War," says lieutenant-colonel Carsten Nielsen.

"This building project is nothing more than a normal step in our modernization process for coordinating and integrating our activities. Things are developing at lightening speed these days, and it is part of the modernization process."

Are the new parabolic antennas aimed at communication satellites over our heads?
"I am not at liberty to say. Unfortunately I am unable to comment on homing factors and technical issues. Since the security of the realm is at stake, we are forced to keep some things secret; otherwise they are useless. I hope you understand me on this."


"There will always be some minor details we are unable to divulge," says lieutenant-colonel Carsten Nielsen.


Unfamiliar with Echelon

When the question of the DDIS's intelligence cooperation with the USA and the UK arises, the lieutenant-colonel becomes somewhat less informative.

"All I can say is that the Ministry of Defence and the DDIS do not participate in the so-called 'Echelon'. Please refer to the 1999 Annual Report from the Minister of Defence in which he corroborates this statement. And as we have also previously informed Ekstra Bladet, we know very little about this infamous system, besides what we have been able to read in the daily newspapers."

What about your relationship with the so-called UKUSA Pact?
"I am not at liberty to comment on that either. We know nothing about that either."

UKUSA is a contraction of UK (United Kingdom) and USA (United States of America).

In 1950, Denmark entered into an official partnership on intelligence activities with the US and the UK. This is stated in documents found in the archives of the then commander of the DDIS, P.A. Mørch. His archives are located at the National Records Office. Former US-agent Wayne Madsen verifies for Ekstra Bladet that this agreement is still in force and that the Danish intelligence service delivers data to UKUSA, which runs the Echelon system. The agreement's continued existence is also verified by US senior researcher and espionage expert Jeffrey Richelson, who among other things was engaged as an expert by the Danish Government in connection with the Thule affair.

The cooperation between Denmark and UKUSA is also verified by Scottish Echelon expert Duncan Campbell, who authored a major report on Echelon for the European Parliament last year.

Last autumn, Ekstra Bladet paid a visit to the DDIS's listening post at Aflandshage. Here we found discarded surveillance equipment identical to the systems used in operating the Echelon network. This was verified for Ekstra Bladet by Margaret Newsham, a former computer programmer for the NSA (US intelligence agency).

Newsham was responsible for programming parts of the Echelon system.