Ashton picks Fin to be EU 'spymaster'
Thats an ominous title isn't it?
Ilkka Salmi, the 42-year-old head of the Finnish security service the Suojelupoliisin, has been appointed as the new director of the EU's intelligence-sharing bureau, the Joint Situation Centre (SitCen).
The move all-but-completes EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton's top line-up in the European External Action Service (EEAS).
Mr Salmi is said to have been picked for the €15,000 a month post because of his "fantastic" personal qualities. But EU political correctness was a second factor - the Nordic countries had so far missed out on first-tier appointments in Ms Ashton's corps.
Some contacts in the EU institutions would have favoured an older candidate from a larger member state which has an intelligence relationship with China, Russia and the US or a proven expert on the Middle East and Islamist terror threats in Europe.
That part contains the background information - but this article also has some other interesting aspects:
In an unusual twist for a man of his profile, he appears in some short clips on YouTube.
This video link (from the article) is provided here, and the title alone pulls me in:
Secret society? Valtaoja meets Ilkka Salmi and other notables in a shady basement at turki uni
I would love to know your thoughts on this bizarre video. I have no idea what to make of it - and if anyone who reads this board can translate, it would be greatly appreciated (just post in the "comments" if possible). Any other thoughts that you have would be interesting to hear, as well, because I'm clueless.
Below are a few more interesting tidbits from the article:
SitCen's primary role is to write flash reports and medium-term security analyses for Ms Ashton's cabinet and the member states' Political and Security Committee (PSC) based on classified information sent in to its Brussels office from around 20 EU countries and on open source information harvested by a team of 15 analysts, soon to be expanded to 21
Mr Salmi's counterpart in the PSC, PSC president Olof Skoog, is a Swede, giving a Nordic flavour to the EEAS' security leadership. Ms Ashton has also decided to keep French diplomat Patrice Bergamini by her side as a special advisor on intelligence and security matters, however.
Very few documents are publicly available on the nature of SitCen's work. But one EU paper dating back to the bureau's inception in 2001, entitled "Suggestions for procedures for coherent, comprehensive EU crisis management," is still relevant as an insight into its work.
The newly appointed "cast of characters" involved in the EU's "Political and Security Committee" and the EEAS is becoming more and more fascinating as we watch these positions being filled.
It is possible that someone could emerge from these groups - someone who is ready to assume much more power and authority. Someone referenced many times in the Bible - someone who could fulfill the prophecy of Daniel 9:27. This possibility alone makes it very much worthwhile to follow these developments VERY closely.