Intelligence agency intervened in illegal nuclear trade

June 4th, 2013

This article is more than 10 years old.

In its first ever annual report, FE outlined its role in stopping Danish companies sell products that can be used to manufacture weapons of mass destruction

The defence intelligence agency FE has helped stopped the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and registered Danes and foreign residents involved in attempting to spread nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

These revelations were outlined in FE’s first ever public report, which was released last week and which outlined its activities in 2011 and 2012.

This work included co-operating with other intelligence agencies to stop the spread of dangerous weapons by keeping an eye on the trade of essential components and intervening when necessary.

“The goal is to stop attempts to buy materials, equipment or knowledge that can be used to produce weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles,” FE states in the report. “In 2011 and 2012 FE contributed to stop specific trades and activities […] and assessed a large number of export requests from the [Danish business authority] Erhvervsstyrelsen.”

Before they can export their products, Danish companies that make components essential for the manufacture of WMDs must obtain proof from buyers that the product won’t be used for this purpose.

FE’s role is to assess whether the buyer is trustworthy or is simply a shell company which will then sell on the products to states and organisations, such as Iran and North Korea, that are illicitly attempting to produce WMDs and the ballistic missiles needed to deliver them.

If FE does suspect the sale violates international non-proliferation treaties, the information is passed on to domestic intelligence agency PET, which steps in to stop the purchase.

Thomas Arienkel, the head of FE, argued there is a growing risk posed by the spread of WMDs.

“We don’t just investigate materials and equipment but also relevant networks and shell companies,” Arienkel told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “Together we use this to assess whether someone is attempting to import components, equipment or material to build the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction.”


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