ReadsPolice TerrorismInformationWeekend

The Shadow Wars of the DGSI, by Alex Jordanov

(B2) Merah, Bataclan, hyper kosher, Charlie Hebdo, gas canisters at Notre-Dame... Names which have the same connotation for many now: terrorism. To combat it, in France, it is the general directorate of internal security and its anti-terrorist section which are at work, day and night, to thwart the plans of Islamist extremists.

A crime novel 

Far from being a specialist in the DGSI and the secret services, I found myself immersed in the heart of surreal stories, almost like something out of an American film, while reading The shadow wars of the DGSI. 300 pages, read in an afternoon. A book written like a detective novel, full of spies, secrets and the big names of the terrorist attacks of recent years in France.

Alex Jordanov interviews agents from the DGSI services. They are part of the anti-terrorist section. They take turns telling their stories, answering questions and explaining their work. All very detailed, and written breathlessly. We could almost see ourselves there. We imagine them, these men and women infiltrating neighborhoods and mosques, hiding in the bushes taking photos of training. athletes » terrorists, from their homes in Corsica, shadowing on the highway, planting microphones in lamps and under car rims. From Toulouse to Trappes, via Paris, Brussels, Nice, Corsica, to the Turkish-Syrian border and Pakistan.

…to be taken as such

Through the testimonies, we discover an overview of the functioning of the DGSI, seen by field agents. In particular, we read a number of criticisms about the silo functioning of the organization, the competition, the misunderstood orders of the hierarchy... In a large part of the story resonates the frustration of the agents, who say that a certain person, " we almost had her, she was ready but we didn't have the right to make the arrest for this or that reason from the hierarchy ».

Unfortunately, only their point of view is given. Testimonies to be taken with the necessary distance and which leave questions unanswered: Could the attacks of November 13 have been avoided? Is this a sufficiently complete representation of the DGSI? Who decides on arrests? Who are these secret agents really? How good is the Management politicized »?

A lesson to remember

The lesson of the book, as these secret agents confide, of what they call the “ French BI is this: Everyone agrees on one thing. France, like other European countries, is on the verge of community confrontation, in a permanent state of siege. The “goal so desired” by the Islamists writes Alex Jordanov. Fortunately, there are several hundred of them, in France, doing everything to stop them.

In short, a good confinement book to take your mind off things. To be avoided for those stressed by terrorist attacks.

(Aurelie Pugnet)

  • New World Editions, 2019, Paris, 296 pages, 19,90 euros

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