Intelligence service worried about megacities

1st November 2007, Comments 0 comments

1 November 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Germany's Federal Intelligence Service (BND) views with alarm developments in some of the world's huge cities, where national police forces are on the retreat, BND President Ernst Uhrlau said in Berlin Thursday.

1 November 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Germany's Federal Intelligence Service (BND) views with alarm developments in some of the world's huge cities, where national police forces are on the retreat, BND President Ernst Uhrlau said in Berlin Thursday.

Uhrlau, who does not reveal his thoughts in public often, named Mumbai, Mexico City and Jakarta, saying they had become partially ungovernable.

He noted the rise of private security firms to protect wealthier residents in sealed communities or to support the army, as in Iraq.

"The increasing privatisation of core state responsibilities in the military and security areas carries with it the danger - even in Western states - of the erosion of the state's monopoly on the use of force," Uhrlau said.

He was addressing a conference in Berlin on the theme "Collapse of Order," attended by politicians, diplomats and intelligence service personnel from a number of countries.

International security was being compromised by the retreat of police and military in the face of terrorists, militias and drug dealers in parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America, he said.

"Some states are now only partially able to carry out their original core responsibilities - protecting their people from violence," Uhrlau said.

This could lead to the destabilisation of entire regions and promote international terrorism, he warned.

Afghanistan provided a good example of how a "failed state" had provided a base for the al-Qaeda network, Uhrlau said.

Europe had its own problems, particularly in the Balkans, where the causes of conflict were "far from overcome."

German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble called for closer cooperation between German and other intelligence services.

He pointed to the cracking in early September of a major German Islamist terror cell with the assistance of other intelligence services.

DPA

Subject: German news

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