Of all the European countries, France may have the most experience in using intelligence to counter both insurgency and terrorism. As of this writing, the principal domestic intelligence organization in France is the Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire [Directorate of Territorial Surveillance] (DST),1 but there is also the Direction Centrale des Renseignements Généraux [Central Directorate of General Intelligence] (DCRG); both organizations are controlled by the Police Nationale. Under the overarching direction of the Ministère de l’Intérieur, the DST is equivalent to the UK’s MI5; the DCRG is equivalent to the UK Special Branch, a police intelligence organization. We focus primarily on the DST, but because the DST and the DCRG are currently being amalgamated into a single domestic intelligence organization, we also examine certain aspects of the DCRG’s history, structure, and mission.2
The DST emerged from the wartime Free French intelligence organization, the Bureau Central de Renseignements et d’Action [Central
1 During the course of 2008, the DST and DCRG were merged to form a new organization, known as the Direction Centrale du Renseignement Interieur [Central Directorate of Interior Intelligence] (DCRI). When writing about the history and structure of France’s principal domestic intelligence organization, however, we use DST.
2 This chapter was written at the end of 2007.