EU: Frontex signs contract for "human intelligence training" with private security company


EU border agency Frontex has signed a €15,000 contract with a private security company based in Northern Ireland for the provision of "human intelligence training".

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It is not clear what precisely the training will cover, although the company providing its services says that its "Humint/CHIS" (covert human intelligence source) training course:

"...empowers delegates with the skills required to proactively target and recruit covert human intelligence sources. Delegates will receive instruction delivered in a scenario driven manner that reflects the challenges of recruiting the right person at the right time in the right place. Key areas of target research, character and profile vulnerabilities, motivation, opportunity, defensive surveillance, record keeping, Intelligence management and grading will be explored in depth."

The company, Chenega Europe, is headquartered in Belfast and led by four ex-British military personnel. The Director of Training, Paul Hillis, is "former Head of PSNI’s Specialist Operations Branch training team he has been responsible for organisational learning and development in the area of Humint, CHIS, Surveillance and SWAT officers."

Frontex has been seeking greater access to "human intelligence" for some time. Its 2018-2020 work programme said that this work would be led by the agency's Risk Analysis Unit:

"Specific new initiatives, such as intelligence operations, will be developed in order to foster the capacity of acquiring and utilising human intelligence on the spot, in the full respect of the legal framework and human rights."

In 2017, Statewatch revealed that 2012 agency guidelines on "debriefing of migrants for intelligence purposes" in Operation Hera, in the Canary Islands, instructed officials to target "migrants from minority ethnic groups, and individuals who may have been isolated or mistreated during their journey, as such people are often more willing to talk about their experiences."

Notice of the contract was placed on the Frontex website.

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