China has lately been trying to address and recruit Czech intelligence
agents, Ladislav Šticha, spokesperson for the Czech Republic’s
counterintelligence service (BIS) said in a debate programme on Czech
Television on Sunday.
Mr. Šticha also said the Chinese secret services were particularly interested in information related to the industry. He said they were trying to establish contact with scientists, academics, but also with politicians.
In October this year, BIS director Michal Koudelka warned against China’s activities in the Czech Republic, calling the Russian and Chinese spy services the biggest long-term threat to the country.
The Russian Embassy in Prague has denied that the information provided
earlier on Monday by Czech civilian counterintelligence (BIS) Director
Michal Koudelka, who said that Czech security organs had uncovered and
broken up an FSB intelligence operation in the country, is in any part
The intelligence chief described the embassy as one of the sources of funding for a Russian operation in the country, which used a web of servers to attack targets in the Czech Republic and its allies.
Last year the Czech authorities broke up a Russian spy network operating in the country, the head of the BIS counter-intelligence service, Michal Koudelka, told MPs on Monday. The FSB spy ring – financed directly by Moscow and the Russian Embassy – was uncovered by BIS and the Czech Republic’s national organised crime unit. I discussed the revelation with former Czech Military Intelligence chief Andor Šándor.
Working in tandem with the National Centre for Combating Organised Crime,
the Czech Security Information Service (BIS) uncovered and broke an
intelligence network run by Russia’s FSB in the Czech Republic, BIS
director Michal Koudelka told members of the lower house at a security
conference on Monday. According to Colonel Koudelka the network was
financed through Russian funds and its aim was to attack targets in the
Czech Republic as well as neighbouring states through a variety of servers,
which were part of a wider network used by the FSB.
Colonel Koudelka also warned parliamentarians about the threat of right-wing extremism in the country, saying that an anti-Muslim attack could lead to the radicalisation of the local Muslim community and increase the danger of Islamic terrorist attacks in the country, which the BIS sees as the most short-term security threat to the country.
Currently, there are no indications of a direct terrorist threat to the country, according to the BIS chief.
The creator of the Czech Republic’s most famous liquor, Josef Vitus Becher, was born exactly 250 years ago in Karlovy Vary. It was he who invented the drink, which has come to be known as “Becherovka”, by adjusting a recipe he received from an English physician called Christian Frobrig. The liquor has since become one of the most recognised Czech exports.
Most deputies who are members of the Permanent Commission on Oversight over
the Security Information Service (BIS), the country's civilian
counterintelligence agency, believe it is doing good work. The information
is the result of a Czech News Agency survey conducted on the occasion of
the 25th anniversary of the Intelligence Services Act which defined their
tasks and control mechanisms.
The deputy-head of the commission Robert Králíček from the ANO party said that it is also thanks to the good work of BIS that the country is one of the safest in the world. Another committee member, Marek Benda from the Civic Democrats, praised the service's intelligence liaison capabilities, as well as its work on countering terrorist and cyber threats. He did say however, that in the area of economic threats he felt the service relied too much on rumours.
Some opposition members of the committee highlighted their worries over the service in view of pressure from President Miloš Zeman, who expressed himself unfavourably about its work in 2018, while Radek Rozvoral from the Freedom and Direct Democracy party said that Czech intelligence services were doing good work but should be more careful with some of the statements they release publicly.
International terrorism, growing cyber threats and right-wing extremism are
the main challenges the Czech counterintelligence service BIS will have to
face in the immediate future, its head Michal Koudelka said in an interview
for the CTK news agency, on the occasion of the service’s 25th
He said the service was also having to counter the growing activities of foreign agents in the country. In recent years the service has reported on a growing number of Russian and Chinese agents in the country.
The head of the Czech counterintelligence service received a top award from America’s CIA earlier this year. He said the George Tenet Award, which recognises international cooperation, was a tribute to the work of the whole counterintelligence service.
The Czech branch of the Chinese company Huawei is suspected of collecting sensitive data on officials and businessmen through its employees. This material is allegedly gathered during business meetings and subsequently entered into a central database to which the company’s headquarters in China have access. Czech Radio’s investigative team at Radiožurnál broke the story, citing former Huawei employees and Czech intelligence sources.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) has backed the idea of creating a
National Security Advisor position, put forward by the intelligence
They argue the work of all security forces, including the police, should be coordinated at the cabinet level, Czech Television reports.
A National Security Advisor should ensure, for example, closer cooperation between the Police and the counter intelligence service (BIS) to detect and thwart criminal and security threats.
BIS director Michal Koudelka, and the heads of the military and civilian intelligence branches, Jan Beroun and Marek Šimandl, have all publicly back the idea.