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August 1, 2021

Head of SRI, Eduard Hellvig: 70% of the persons forbidden in Romania are connected to the Islamic State

The director of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), Eduard Hellvig, declared that 70 per cent of the persons forbidden in Romania are connected to ISIS. The Head of SRI says that 9,000 persons are on a ban list at the border.

Eduard Hellvig declared that Romania is not outside of the danger of a possible terrorist attack and, so far, there were several reasons that led to the increase of the level of anti-terrorist alert.

“I am talking at the level of perception, I do not have concrete data, but, in my opinion, at the beginning of the 90s, the temptation and tendency of politicians to have an increasing control over the state institutions. Therefore, this thing is not happening and my objective is to make sure that political influence is not possible”, Hellvig declared for Adevarul.

Nine persons were expelled from the country due to terrorist threats. SRI has a data base of 9,000 persons included in a ban list at the border.

“Unfortunately, we are not free of potential terrorist attacks. From the beginning of this year, entrance in the country for 246 persons on whom we gained data that they were connected to the terrorist phenomenon and presented risks in this field. As for the profile of these persons, I would like to underline the fact that 70% of the persons banned in Romania are connected with ISIS”, Hellvig also declared.

Also, the manager of SRI declared that most Romanian prepaid cards are used in terrorist attacks and organized crime.

“We still do not have a cybernetic security law, and therefore we do not have regulations concerning the PrePay cards, and we miss other legal instruments that allow the adaptation of the capability of the service to technological evolution. Recent events reconfirmed that the territorists use new technologies. Recent events reconfirmed the fact that the terrorists are using the new technologies, which allow them to anonymize and crypt communications to prepare and develop actions.

In other words, anyone may communicate in an anonymized manner in Romania, which, in certain situations, imply risks for the national security. Therefore, the lack of such legal instruments represent a systemic vulnerability”, the Head of SRI added.

Eduard Hellvig mentioned that “the Romanian Intelligence Service enjoys today a massive trust”, but approves that much more transparency was needed from behalf of the institution. “An intelligence service, as a Dutch colleague used to say, does not mean a secret service”, Hellvig added.

The Head of the Romanian Intelligence Service is convinced that the institution he leads is respected by Romanians not because of fear, but especially because he chose to do things in a way that would help consolidate democracy, the Constitutional state and to determine the institutions of the Romanian state to operate in the citizen’s interest.”

“I do not think that Romanian Intelligence Service is respected because of fear. Until nine months ago, I was a politician, and my respect to the Romanian Intelligence Service did not came out of fear, but out of the fact that this institution decided to do things in a way that would consolidate democracy, the Constitutional state and to determine the institutions of the Romanian state to operate in the citizen’s interest. (…)

The Romanian Intelligence Service registered a significant decrease of the amount of national safety warrants of the total authorized measures for interceptions. Concretely, the national safety warrants, decreased, as an amount, to half, from approximately 10% to 5% of the total number of authorization acts.

It is an important thing, which proves that the Service proves the capacity to complete the mission just as well by using other legal, complementary instruments, much more efficient and adequate to respond to the realities we are confronted with”, Eduard Hellvig mentioned.

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