Bosnia and Herzegovina, Intelligence and Security

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Intelligence and Security

Following World War I, the nations in the Balkan region were unified into a single state, known after 1929 as Yugoslavia. Tensions between the region's ethnic populations remained high, but the establishment of a dictatorship under Marshal Tito kept Yugoslavia united after World War II. After Tito's death, authoritarianism continued to dominate the Yugoslavian regime. The Yugoslavian intelligence community was dominated by secret police forces and government-backed political espionage. Modeled after intelligence and security forces in the Soviet Union, Yugoslav intelligence focused on protecting the ruling regime under the direct control of the Communist Central Committee.

In the early 1990s, Yugoslavia broke apart following the fall of the Soviet Union. In 1991 and 1992, the various ethnic states in the Balkan region declared their independence. Border disputes and ethnic tensions flared in the region, sparking intense warfare. The most intense conflict erupted in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The state was deeply divided. Bosniak Muslims, seeking autonomy, fought Serbian-backed forces. As the conflict escalated, the international community became concerned with the region's endemic warfare. By the time United Nations and NATO forces intervened in the region, ethnic cleansing— genocide—plagued Bosnia and Herzegovina.

International intervention helped end genocide and warfare in the region, but civil war left the national infrastructure of Bosnia and Herzegovina devastated. In 1998, the Bosnian government began an ambitious program to rebuild the nation's intelligence and security forces. As of 2003, NATO-led Stabilization Forces (SFOR) continue to operate in Bosnia and Herzegovina, preserving peace in the region and aiding in the formation of new national security forces.

Bosnia and Herzegovina's main civilian intelligence service is the Agency for Investigation and Documentation (AID). The AID investigates current and past criminal activities, with a focus on ferreting out perpetrators of genocide and other war crimes. The investigative force also conducts domestic intelligence operations, including political and communications surveillance of military forces. The State Security Agency and the Civil Police work closely with the AID to assess and neutralize threats to national security, and protect the nation's citizens.

Although Bosnia and Herzegovina's military is greatly limited in their actions under the terms of current, regional cease-fire agreement, some military-based intelligence services continue to operate. The main objective of military intelligence services is to obtain foreign intelligence information, especially that which relates to the military strength of its neighboring states, Croatia and Serbia. Government-backed espionage against dissident and rival ethnic groups was circumscribed by international peacekeeping forces to deter renewed hostilities in the region.

The government also maintains a mixed civilianmilitary Anti-terrorist Brigade. Little is known about the daily operations of this secret police force.



Central Intelligence Agency. "Bosnia and Herzegovina" CIA World Factbook < > (April 8, 2003).


Croatia, Intelligence and Security
Serbia, Intelligence and Security
United Nations Security Council

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