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Iceland establishes secret service

According to minister of justice, Björn Bjarnason, the government does not believe that by establishing a “research department” for the national police that Iceland is creating a secret service, reports the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. The unit will investigate treason and crimes against the constitution and “the highest authorities”, and evaluate terrorist risk and risks due to organized crime.

Björn said that it was not new that such investigations were performed by the National Police, what is new is that these type of investigations get a separate unit. Björn said that the unit will make relations with other such units abroad easier – he said it was necessary to increase international cooperation due to international criminal activity and terrorist attacks. Björn does not want to call the unit a secret service. According to Björn, Althingi will pass the bill during its spring term. The new laws will then take effect January 1, 2007.

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