Committee for State Security

Committee for State Security

The Committee for State Security (Bulgarian: Комитет за държавна сигурност, Komitet za darzhavna sigurnost; abbreviated КДС, CSS), popularly known as State Security (Държавна сигурност, Darzhavna sigurnost; abbrievated ДС) was the name of the Bulgarian secret service during the Communist rule of Bulgaria and the Cold War (until 1989).

Contents

Structure

  • 1st Head Directorate – foreign intelligence. Succeeded by the National Intelligence Service in 1990.
  • 2nd Head Directorate – counter-intelligence. Succeeded by the National Security Service.
  • 3rd Directorate – military counter-intelligence
  • 4th Directorate – surveillence
  • 5th Directorate – government security and protection. Succeeded by the National Protection Service.
  • 6th Directorate – political police. Succeeded by the Head Service for Combating Organized Crime. It had the following departments:
    • 1st Department – worked among the intelligentsia and controlling the unions of artists
    • 2nd Department – worked in the universities and among the students
    • 3rd Department – responsible for the clergy, the Jews, Armenians and Russian White emigrants
    • 4th Department – specialized in pro-Turkish and pro-Macedonian nationalism
    • 5th Department – worked among the political rivals, such as the agrarians and social democrats
    • 6th Department – observed pro-Maoist and anti-party activity
    • 7th Department – information analysis and anonymous activity
  • 7th Directorate – information work

Activity

In 1964 the State Security formed a unit Service 7, led by colonel Petko Kovachev, dedicated to murder, kidnaping and disinformation against Bulgarian dissidents living abroad. The unit executed actions against dissidents in Italy, Britain, Denmark, West Germany, Turkey, France, Ethiopia, Sweden and Switzerland. Documents describing its activities were declassified only in 2010.[1]

State Security played an active part in the so-called "Revival Process" to Bulgarianize the Bulgarian Turks in the 1980s, as well as writer and dissident Georgi Markov's murder in London in 1978 known for the "Bulgarian umbrella" that was used.

An issue often raised by the international community is State Security's alleged control of the weapons, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, gold, silver and antiques traffic through Bulgaria before 1989.[2] Because of this, it is popularly thought that the organized crime in the country in the 1990s was set up by former State Security agents.[3]

The agency is often incriminated with the ill-famed murder of dissident writer Georgi Markov using a "Bulgarian umbrella" on London's Waterloo Bridge and was formerly accused of the 1981 attempt on Pope John Paul II's life. The latter allegation has always been sharply criticised and denied by Bulgaria, and the country was officially cleared of any involvement by the Pontiff himself during a 2002 visit.

Legacy

The secret files of the DS have been a source of great controversy in the country. After the communist regime in the country collapsed, newly established democratic forces accused the former communist elite of secretly removing DS files that could compromise its members. In 2002, former Interior Minister Gen. Atanas Semerdzhiev was found guilty of razing 144,235 files from the Durzhavna Sigurnost archives. Others have accused the DS of infiltrating the young opposition.

See also

References


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