In 2015, the Belgian State Security Secret Service collected information for the first time about Jürgen Conings, the military officer who has been a fugitive since 17 May. That‘s what Belgian media write. The information would come from “multiple knowledgeable sources.”
The Belgian intelligence agency supervisor has started an investigation into the way in which the secret service, the military intelligence service ADIV and the Body for the Coordination of the Threat (OCAD) have collected and exchanged information in the Conings case.
The session took place behind closed doors, but “multiple well-informed sources” confirm to KNack.be and Le Soir that the following timeline has been discussed:
• 2015: at the State Security Secret Service, which has the legal mandate to follow extremism, comes before the first in information about Conings, as part of the funding of an organization that is on the radar of the service.
• 2017-2019: a report on Conings is drawn up several times, including on prohibited possession of weapons and racism. But that information would not have ended up with the ADIV.
• 2018: information is coming in that links Conings to a far-right group.
• June 2020: Conings looks up the address of virologist Marc Van Ranst.
• August 2020: the OCAD launches a preliminary investigation into Conings as a ‘potentially violent extremist‘. From that moment on, his name will also be included in the common database (GGB) – to which several other public administrations have access – and a task force will deal with the matter.
• 31 August 2020: the ADDIV decides to revoke the security clearance of Conings. Because Conings was working with the military police, he needed that kind of authorization to access certain secure places.
• 12 November 2020: Only after 2.5 months the decision on the security clearance will be implemented and Conings will be notified. “An unlikely error”, several sources judge.
• 17 February 2021: After the preliminary investigation initiated by OCAD, Conings is placed under ‘full statute‘ as ‘potentially violent extremist‘ in the GGB. In addition, he is awarded the threat level 3 (‘serious‘). This information is automatically available in the GGB and is therefore sent to the ADIV in any case. “But the info didn’t get to ADIV top man Philippe Boucké,” says one source. “The ADIV has completely failed to follow up on the information,” another responds. According to the Belgian media, it seems strongly that mistakes have been made within the ADIV.
By the beginning of July, the supervisor will have to complete his investigation. Knack and Le Soir asked the State Security and the ADIV for a response, but the services do not comment.