For You


SIS 2012 Annual Report

Bratislava, November 2013
  1. Introduction
  2. SIS Strategic Focus
    1. Security
    2. Counter-terrorism
    3. CT coordination and NSAC
    4. Illegal migration
    5. Counter-espionage protection
    6. Organized Crime Combat
    7. Defence Industry Product Trading and Proliferation
    8. Extremism
    9. Pseudo-religious Groupings
    10. Protection of classified information, personal and industry security clearances
    11. Cyberspace protection
    12. Economic Sector
    13. Corruption and Cronyism
    14. Inefficient Management of State and Municipality-owned Assets
    15. Customs, Tax and Financial Frauds
    16. Foreign Economic Relations of the Slovak Republic
    17. Foreign Politics
    18. Western Balkans
    19. Russian Federation
    20. Ukraine
    21. Belarus
    22. China
    23. Areas of Crises and Conflicts
  3. Cooperation with State Bodies and Notification Duty
  4. State of Affairs, Basic Activities and SIS Oversight
    1. Personnel matters
    2. Technical and Material Supplies, State of Affairs and SIS Budget Spending
    3. SIS Budget
    4. Technical and Material Supplies
    5. Information-technical means
    6. Cooperation between SIS and Foreign Intelligence Services
    7. Legislation and Supervision
    8. Legislation
    9. Supervision
    10. Oversight of the legality of SIS activities carried out by the Oversight Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic for Oversight of the Activities of the Slovak Information Service
  5. Conclusion

1. Introduction

This report refers to the 2011 annual report of Slovak Information Service (SIS). It provides information on status, activities and results achieved in the performance of SIS in 2012.

SIS guarantees intelligence protection of the state in the security system of the Slovak Republic and it actively cooperates with partners intelligence services and international organizations in order to avert security threats to EU and NATO member-states and to the international community.

Having performed intelligence tasks in 2012, SIS positively contributed to the protection of the constitutional system and internal order, state security and protection and enforcement of foreign political and economic interests of the Slovak Republic.

2. SIS Strategic Focus

2.1 Security


In 2012 SIS reported no immediate terrorist threats on the territory of the Slovak Republic, neither the involvement of persons from the Slovak Republic in orchestrating a terrorist attack abroad. With respect to this issue security conditions in the Slovak Republic remain stable. No radical manifestations and declarations openly supporting the so-called al-Qaeda Core or other terrorist organisation were reported.

The Arab Spring and the development in some Middle East countries and the North Africa have so far had no direct impact on the security situation of the Slovak Republic but aimed at European interests and foreign targets.

Individual terrorism was a modus operandi of al-Qaeda Core, the global Jihadist network. With this respect, a threat of terrorist attacks carried out by independent Jihad supporters in Europe increased. This fact is supported by the attacks on the Jewish community in Toulouse, France in March 2012 and the bus full of Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria in July 2012.

In 2012 individuals from European Muslim communities became increasingly interested in combat (terrorist) trainings or taking part in fights in Jihad areas; this was perceived as another risk that threatened Europe. In past Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia or Yemen had been target countries, yet in 2012 most European Islamic radicals left for Libya, Mali, and especially Syria.

Spreading of the al-Qaeda ideology as a result of the Arab Spring supported a growth of online Jihadi propaganda and encouraged hatred towards Western-values in Muslim communities all around Europe. The Slovak Republic saw no significant interest in online Jihadi propaganda.

CT coordination and NSAC

Within the interdepartmental Expert Group on Information Exchange and Analysis of Information and Cooperation in CT at the National Level, SIS participated in several tasks resulting from the National  Counter-Terrorism Action Plan of the Slovak Republic for 2012 – 2014.

In the evaluated period, the National Security and Analytical Centre (NSAC), of which SIS is the initiator and the administrator, continued to be developed. NSAC is defined as an analytical, communication and cooperation centre that operates nationwide and deals with security (i.e. not only terrorist) threats. SIS presented the NSAC project (approved on 7 March 2012) and the NSAC Statute (approved on 12 December 2012) to the Government. In accordance with the schedule the service carried out activities that allowed other law-enforcement bodies and other state bodies of the Slovak Republic to participate in the activities within the during its testing period (started 1 January 2012).

Illegal Migration

As most discovered illegal migrants showed, the Slovak Republic served mostly as a transit country for migrant on their way to the Western Europe. International smuggling groups were behind illegal migration. The leaders of these groups came mostly from the same countries as their customers. Apart from the usual Schengen (Slovak-Ukraine) border smuggling, the organisers became increasingly focused on legal ways to allow migrants to enter the Slovak Republic legally. Usually, they used   spa and tourist stays arranged by Slovak travel agencies, private invitations and establishment of companies as a cover.

2012 saw risk persons  taking part in organising marriages between foreigners and Slovak female citizens. There were several cases, in which the asylum institute or special protection provided on the territory of the Slovak Republic were misused. In some cases, persons travelled to their home countries despite alleged persecutions these persons had claimed.

The territory of the Slovak Republic was not directly hit by migration waves from Arab countries affected by social and political unrests resulting from the Arab Spring. However, the number of illegal migrants, especially from Somalia, continued to increase. With respect to this, there was an infiltration risk by persons with links to
al-Shabaab, a Somali Islamist militant movement, into migrant groups.

Counter-espionage protection

Slovak Information Service gathered, collected and evaluated information on activities of foreign intelligence services on the territory of the Slovak Republic. In 2012 several foreign intelligence services tried to infiltrate central bodies of the state administration, security forces of the Slovak Republic. Their activities and interests focused on  gaining information from economic, political and scientific areas.

In counter-espionage protection, SIS successfully developed collaboration with partner services from NATO and EU member states.

Organised Crime Combat

Within organised crime combat, SIS monitored illegal activities of the most significant domestic and foreign crime groups in the Slovak Republic. Organised crime profited especially from economic crime (tax and customs frauds, smuggling, thefts, real estate frauds, etc.), illegal and psychotropic drugs business, organising illegal migration and prostitution, protection racket, usury, violent crimes, i.e. robberies, blackmailing, physical violence, arranged murders, etc.

In the economic crime area, the service increased its focus on excessive VAT deductions and excise tax on mineral oil, alcohol and tobacco frauds, as well as on illegal alcohol trade due to the lethal methanol case in the Czech Republic.

Individual crime groups provided support and so-called protection to illegal activities of persons involved in the economic crime that are not members of these crime groups. Such protection can also be forced as persons carrying out illegal activities are easier to blackmail. The support of crime groups was often linked with exerting pressure on so-called straw men the groups used for excessive VAT deduction frauds.

SIS cooperated with domestic and foreign security bodies in search for perpetrators of serious crimes hiding abroad.

Defence Industry Product Trading and Proliferation

In the evaluated period SIS continued to monitor controlled products trading and reviewed compliance and execution of international sanctions and participated in performance of Slovakia’s obligations from international treaties on control of conventional arm trading and dual-use goods usage. In compliance with the currently valid laws, SIS actively participated in licensing process for trading defence products and products, possession of which is limited to security reasons.

SIS provided the state authorities with information on embargoed entities and risk profiles of foreign businesses that were suspected of proliferation of dual-use technologies and materials to the sanctioned countries that could have misused the territory of the Slovak Republic or entities registered in the Slovak Republic for their proliferation aims. SIS monitored cash flow that have breached international sanctions imposed on financial institutions in risk countries. SIS actively cooperates with several foreign intelligence services during the evaluation of individual trades with the aim to identify the final recipient of defence industry products. In 2012 information exchange increased in this area.

Intelligence pointing out involvement of Slovak entities or Slovak territory for carrying out illegal trade with controlled products was gathered in 2012.

In case of proliferation of dual use materials, SIS monitored activities of risk companies aimed at exporting so-called sensitive products out of the European Union and the Slovak Republic into risk countries. If realised, such activities would harm international political or security interests of the Slovak Republic. SIS was also interested in monitoring breaches of arms embargoes on a global scale; intelligence products were forwarded to the legally defined recipients.

In accordance with the currently valid legislation, SIS actively participates in licensing processes of dual use materials trading. SIS provided negative statement on exporting such products due to possible breach of goods embargo in one of the risk countries.

The attention of the service was also paid to so-called sub-threshold products trading that, according to law, is not subject to standard controlling procedures. However, in certain cases such products could be used in risk development projects and productions of weapons of mass destruction, its precursors or carriers in other countries.

SIS participated in the monitoring of the security of nuclear power plants and nuclear materials in the Slovak Republic. In order to identify threats that might have had impact on nuclear or operation security levels of nuclear power plants, SIS provided the legal recipients with information support.


Activities of Slovak right and left-wing extremists presented no substantial threat to the Constitutional system and internal order of the Slovak Republic. In comparison with 2011, no significant changes in the numbers or the shift of the Slovak extremist scene occurred.

The fact that ownership issues of lands under Roma settlements that had been illegally built  following the fire at Krasna Horka castle was presented in the media resulted in nationwide discussion and contributed to the escalation of tension in some municipalities. Right-wing extremists continued organising concerts of local and foreign bands; some of the extremists were also active as members of radical football fan bases (hooligans) and continued broadening cooperation with foreign ultra-right groupings and individuals, especially from neighbouring countries.

Slovak right-wing extremists abused several civil protests or civil activity platforms in the Slovak Republic for their own promotion or promotion of their ideas.

On contrary to the situation in foreign countries, left-wing extremists in the Slovak Republic did not reflect to the on-going global crisis and did not radicalise their speeches.

Slovak extremists’ activities were supported on the Internet; mainly the social networks were used to present their ideology, contact sympathisers and organise their activities.

Pseudo-religious Groupings

Regarding destructive sects and religious communities, SIS monitored activities of entities spreading their ideology and efforts in order to gain influence in the state, the private sector and the municipalities. They used substandard and non-transparent methods often to feather their own nest and negatively influence mental and physical health conditions of their supporters and their social conditions.

Protection of classified information, personal and industrial security clearances

In 2012 SIS contributed to the  security clearance process conducted by the National Security Authority, the Military Intelligence (Military Defence Service and Military Intelligence Service) and the Police Force. Information concerning security credibility of individuals and entrepreneurs was provided to the applicants in the scope complying with the Act 215/2004 Coll. on The Protection of Classified Information that changes and supplements certain Acts as subsequently amended.

SIS participated in the process of assessing credibility of persons cleared under the special regulations of the Ministry of Interior, the Slovak Aviation Authority and provided statements on applications for defence material trading permits to the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic.

In 2012 SIS carried out administration clearances on persons as requested by the Migration Office of the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic, the Border and Foreign Police of the Slovak Republic and the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic. SIS also responded to similar requests of foreign partner intelligence services.

SIS conducted more than 22.000 security clearances as requested by state bodies of the Slovak Republic and partner intelligence services.

Cyberspace protection

SIS monitored increased activities of Anonymous hacktivist movement in the Slovak Republic. Cyber-attacks of the movement were aimed at web sites of Slovak political parties, government institutions or state organisations. Some cyber-attacks were carried out to support civil protests. Most cyber-attacks carried out in 2012 in the Slovak Republic that were connected with hacktivism phenomenon had no power to cause severe damages. Their activities were coordinated on Facebook and public IRC chat rooms. SIS forwarded information on the cyberspace threats to the legally defined recipients, including the national CSIRT (Computer Security Incident Response Team).

2.2 Economic Sector

Corruption and Cronyism

In 2012 SIS collected information indicating corruption and clientelism in local and regional municipality bodies, state administration institutions and entities with state interest ownership, especially in public procurement as well as in connection with  allocation of funds from the state budget and granting financial contributions from the European Union funds. SIS also recorded suspected cases of corruption behaviour of law enforcement authorities.

SIS recorded non-transparent allocation of construction projects on a regional level given to companies chosen in advance that provided bribes.

Regarding manipulation of goods and services procurement, SIS gathered intelligence on some non-transparent activities on supplying computer and information technologies. It forwarded intelligence to the legally defined recipients.

SIS also forwarded intelligence on suspicious public procurement in a state-owned energy company in favour of related companies that might have resulted in benefits for the company representatives.

In relation with EU fund drawing, SIS informed of a possible corruption case, in which new requests for non-refundable subsidies from EU funds to private companies were evaluated. Some cases of unjustified fund drawing on investment projects in agriculture were also recorded. In this context SIS informed of entrepreneurs who received EU subsidies for overvalued projects backed with corruption.

In the evaluated period intelligence on unjustified pay out of social benefits and pensions backed with corruption were gathered.

Suspicion of corruption activities were identified in connection with tax and customs frauds, which several tax and customs administration employees participated in.

Inefficient Management of State and Municipality-owned Assets

In the given period SIS gathered intelligence pointing out suspicion of continuous harm to Slovak economic interests in the companies with state-interest participation and municipalities.

Suspicioned cases of damaging economic interests of the state were recorded especially in energy companies and heating plants. Lobbying and corruption pressure of target groups linked with top-management of a state-owned company lead to manipulated public procurement. In some cases, SIS recorded signs public tenders were intentionally avoided due to the reasons above.

In the evaluated period intelligence indicating suspicion of damaging economic interests of the state in management and handling of municipality assets and  at state administration institutions was gathered.

SIS pointed out suspicious siphoning off EU funds, for instance by means of a fund managing business sector financing from structural EU funds by settling overvalued payments or payments for undone works and services or abuse of EU funds for aims different than originally claimed. SIS also focused on suspicions that EU funds were drawn by companies linked to organised crime groups.

SIS informed its customers of suspicious interference with court proceedings in unjustified cases of property and financial claims towards the state.

Intelligence on suspicious illegal state-to-private land transfers based on forged or unlawful titles was also gathered. SIS informed its customer on suspicious illegal re-categorisation of originally agricultural lands to more valuable building land.

Customs, Tax and Financial Frauds

In relation with tax frauds, SIS focused especially on indirect tax frauds – excise tax and VAT. Due to extensive damages caused to income of the state budget as a result of tax frauds this area is currently one of the priorities of SIS in protecting economic interests of the Slovak Republic.

There were recorded  several cases of tax evasions connected with illegal alcohol, tobacco and mineral oil trading. Intelligence attention was also paid to official producers and traders of products subject to excise tax that can cover their illegal activities easily with other legal commodity trades. There were several suspicious cases, in which companies authorised to produce goods subject to excise tax avoided their reporting in accounting books. SIS also forwarded its customers intelligence on excise tax frauds in the region of Central Europe, including Slovakia carried out by international trade groups.

The majority of smuggled cigarettes that arrive to or are transferred through the territory of the Slovak Republic is legally produced, bought and taxed in Ukraine. In accordance with an expert estimate, approximately 87% of retail cigarette trade in Transcarpathia is aimed for illegal export to the European Union.

In 2012 SIS gathered intelligence on suspicion of extensive VAT frauds. Individual tax entities exercised excessive VAT deductions or adjusted their tax duty based on fictional trades. Regarding the excessive VAT deductions, SIS discovered several organised groups in Slovak regions that cooperate on this issue; even international companies are involved in such frauds. Companies established by companies focusing on setting up other companies were often used in the excessive VAT deduction frauds. Subsequently, such companies were  made over to so-called straw men. In tax frauds, the organised groups use existing companies whose executive officers or their owners are often not aware of such frauds.

Excessive tax frauds were also discovered with trading goods arriving from Asia.

As foreign companies and people participate in such illegal activities, SIS actively cooperates with foreign intelligence services. In this context cooperation between SIS and certain bodies of the Financial Administration of the Slovak Republic was intensified.

Foreign Economic Relations of the Slovak Republic

In the area of foreign economic interests of Slovakia SIS brought its attention to risks of restriction or supply cuts of strategic raw material, especially oil and gas. SIS focused on the development trends in the Russian Federation and Ukraine in connection with possible restricted supply of strategic raw materials and on the nuclear energy developments.

In Russian-Ukrainian dispute over the prices of gas, 2012 saw no progress for Ukraine. Supply cuts of Russian natural gas into Europe at the turn of January and February 2012 pointed out that Gazprom has difficulties meeting the peak demands in Europe and in the Russian Federation in extremely cold weather. April 2012 saw the beginning of cuts of Russian crude oil in the Druzhba’s South pipeline into Central European countries; difficulties in crude oil supplies to the Czech Republic continued till the end of 2012.

SIS continued to evaluate the development of the debt crisis in the Eurozone; the service predicted future development and identified accompanying risks for the Slovak Republic based on the intelligence gathered.

2.3 Foreign politics

Western Balkans

SIS kept monitoring the Western Balkans, where ethnic issues continued. Along with economic and financial difficulties of the states in the region, bad social and economic situation of the population, links between organised crime and local elites and ubiquitous corruption results in difficult political situation, stagnating reforms and slow integration processes. Fragile stability of the security situation is disturbed by local incidents, especially in places where Slavic and Albanian ethnics meet. International presence remains an important factor of stability and progress.

the Russian Federation

Especially in the first half of 2012, internal political situation of the Russian Federation faced unusually large protests of the public against the results of the State Duma elections and the intensive presidential election campaign of Vladimir Putin focused on winning the elections in the first round. The demonstrations presented no threat to the ruling regime but were a warning sign for power structures. In order to calm the protest mood of the population, the structures intensified its conservative politics, patriotic propaganda and the picture of strong Russia in the global community.

Organisational and personnel changes in the government and in the presidential administration were focused on balancing the influence of power groups. Internal political stability was further threated by harsh fight between the supporters of conservative and liberal economic policies, troubled application of reforms in law-enforcement bodies and inefficient collection of finances that would support social programmes.

Security situation in the Northern Caucasus, where the centre of attacks shifted to Dagestan, remains a risk factor in the Russian Federation. The number of supporters of radical Islam increased; there were attempts to broaden armed activities into areas, in which the Islamic population forms a majority (Tatarstan).

Relations with so-called close foreign countries remained a priority of foreign politics of the Russian Federation after Putin’s appointment to the presidential office. The Russian Federation continued increasing its influence in the Central Asian states via bilateral meetings and multilateral organisations, especially the Collective Security Treaty Organisation and gradually developed of the Euroasian Union.

The pressure on incorporating Ukraine into the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia or the entry of the Russian Federation into the gas and transit systems of Ukraine elevated. High gas prices were used as the main coercive means. Bilateral disputes threatened the security of energy supplies to the Central Europe. The relations between the Russian Federation and the European Union were complicated due to the unwillingness of the Russian Federation to meet demands resulting from the so-called 3rd energy package and the attempts to fasten the process of loosening the visa requirement.

In the context of the Russian Federation and NATO relation, the European anti-missile system, the expansion of NATO and the criticism of the Russian Federation on the participation of NATO in Libyan and Syrian conflicts remained disputed.


In 2012 SIS mainly evaluated the risks linked with the supplies  of strategic raw materials. Yanukovich’s Party of Regions won the parliamentary elections in October 2012. The elections triggered criticism of the Organisation of Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The opposition did not manage to unite, nor utilise the potential resulting from increasing social and economic dissatisfaction of the population.

In terms of Ukraine-European Union relations, no progress in the integration process was made in the evaluated period.


The September parliamentary elections were the most important moment on the political scene of Belarus. Compared to 2008, some improvements were recorded; however, OSCE observers regarded these elections as non-transparent and not in compliance with international standards. The elections brought no significant changes in the political system of the country or in its relations with the EU. All newly-appointed members of parliament support the regime; no opposition representative was elected to the parliament. Fragmented opposition had not been able to unite in presenting common strategy for the elections, nor effectively use the campaign for its own promotion. Opposition leaders distrusted and accused each other.

Concerning international relations, the development of the relations between the EU and Belarus was negative; the first quarter of 2012 saw the departure of the EU ambassadors from Belarus. During the year the tension eased; the cooperation of Belarus with individual EU member states continued to develop on bilateral level, yet  the official relations towards the EU remain cold. The Russian Federation exhibited its support towards Belarus as the member of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space in order to strengthen its own positions in the country. Belarus continued to exhibit its interest in being the member of Euro-Asian integration processes.

SIS paid attention to the development of the economy of Belarus in the context of economic difficulties and the EU sanctions.


Regarding the People’s Republic of China, the representatives of the 5th generation of leaders started assuming power at the 18th congress of the Communist Party of China held in November 2012; the process ended in March 2013, when the new President and the Prime Minister took over the office. Expectations of certain economic and political reforms and the acknowledgement of China as a new global power in international context are linked with the new generation. Efforts of strengthening China’s economic and political influence in the world reflected in a more assertive foreign politics focused on securing its positions in Asia, African countries and the Middle East will follow Chinese intensive economic growth.

Areas of Crises and Conflicts

The situation in Middle East and North Africa was influenced by the turbulent development following the fall of some authoritative Arab regimes. Political changes were accompanied by unrealistic expectations in political and social areas; this was reflected in increasing dissatisfaction of the population with political elites having arisen from the post-revolutionary elections. The rise of religious parties, including radical ones is a natural result of the opened political space following the Arab Spring and reflects strong social conservatism of some citizens.

In the Middle East, SIS focused on the civil conflict in Syria. The conflict remains the most traumatic moment of the Arab Spring and a source of instability in the region that also affects interests of the European Union. The development in the country outlines a long-term conflict with deepening sectarian character and serious humanitarian consequences. The biggest source of fear of the international community and Slovak allies in NATO and the EU was the misuse of Syrian chemical weapons by the religious extremists.

Diplomatic cease fire initiatives mediated by the UN and the Arab League failed in 2011. Both sides relied on the military solution to the crisis; however, no party was able to turn the game for their own benefit. The regime as well the oppositions were significantly dependent on foreign financial and military aid that continued to add fuel to the fire.

Israeli ruling parties were not motivated to make significant concessions to Palestine due to possible weakening of their electorate base. The fact that Palestine had been accepted as an observing member in the UN in November 2012 resulted in sanctions by Israel, causing substantial damage to the Palestinian autonomy leader’s (Abbas) position. The expansion of Jewish settlements on the West Bank and intensified violent extremism among Jewish settlers remain a source of tension and damage Israeli relations with its allies.

The stalemate of the Middle East peace process was welcomed by radical groups in the Gaza Strip and their foreign donors. Small extremist groups supported by Israel increased their influence at the expense of Hamas, the ruling movement. The progress of the Palestinian autonomy on the West Bank in talks with Hamas on political unification of both parties was slow.

Parliamentary and presidential elections took place in Egypt; the results confirmed the trend in the post-revolutionary North-African countries – strong support of the public to Islamist political subjects. Upon his taking over the office, President Mursi faced several challenges and the threat of lengthening of the transitional period. During the period of absent Constitution that would define his powers, Mursi passed several Constitutional decrees allowing him to seize power at the expense of the army; as a result, his position strengthened. Increasing dissatisfaction of the opposition and the population with the power-hungry president and the Muslim Brotherhood met with the controversial passing of the Constitution. The referendum on the Constitution was successful; the low turnout, however, was a result of the frustration and dissatisfaction with the transitional period. The political scene polarised. General uncertainty in combination with worsening life standard lead to violent massive anti-government protests at the end of 2012. Repeated outbreak of violence, as well as increased number of terrorist activities, especially in the Northern Sinai, resulted in military intervention and worsened security situation. The on-going economic crisis also contributed to the bad situation in Egypt.

In the given period Iran faced stricter US and EU sanctions, the most important of which was the embargo on Iranian oil imports to EU countries. The sanctions lead to public protests and tainted the undisputed-to-date unity of the Iranian political elite concerning the nuclear programme. Despite the sanctions, the country continued to enrich Uranium, expand the capacities and improve the technology. At the same time there were attempts of the international community to maintain diplomatic relations with Iran at the P5+1 group and the International Atomic Energy Agency levels.

SIS monitored the development in Libya in 2012. It focused on assessing on-going changes following the fall of the Gaddafi regime. The country went through its first free parliamentary elections and saw the formation of the temporary parliament and government that fought for their legitimate acceptance. However, the state bodies were not able to gain control over the whole country. Parts of Libya are still controlled by armed militia groups consisting of former rebels that fight with each other. Despite the attempts of the Libyan government to incorporate these groups into the security apparatus, armed groups denied surrendering their weapons and controlled territories. Security situation of the country was further affected by on-going ethnic conflicts, especially in the South of Libya – the territory was proclaimed a military zone in order to stop weapon, drugs and illegal migrants trafficking business. The overall security situation of the country was worsening as the threats of ethnic conflicts, religious extremism and possibilities of attacks on Western targets kept rising.

The democratic transition of Tunisia was affected by disrupted relations between Ennahda, the ruling moderate Islamist party, and Ettakatol and Congress for the Republic, its coalition partners. The fact that the fragmented opposition accused the ruling Ennahda party and its radical wing from Islamisation attempts contributed to the adverse atmosphere in the country. The government was not able to react to the deepening social and economic issues of the citizens; this lead to a series of anti-government demonstrations lead by Tunisian labour unions. The tense situation contributed to a deteriorating security situation of the country and was a fertile ground for Salafi groups that intensified their activities. The infiltration of terrorist groups operating in North and sub-Saharan countries also presented an immediate security threat to the country.

The security situation in Afghanistan did not change significantly in 2012; the situation was especially complicated in the areas inhabited by the Pashtun people. Total number of security incidents was similar to the previous period; however, the number of green-on-blue attacks (Afghan security forces attacking ISAF soldiers) increased. The process of the departure of allied forces scheduled for 2014 continued. The schedule for handing responsibilities to the Afghan security bodies was met; however, effectiveness of Afghan bodies remained an issue (due to poor competence and corruption). Taliban movement was interested in negotiating talks with the international community in the assessed period. However, at the same time the fighting continued. Taliban perceived such activities as the main means for reaching their goals. Afghan political scene started the preparations for the 2014 presidential elections, in which the current president, Hamid Karzai, will not participate. The preparation process indicated a risk of manipulation and the aim of the current president to gain control over the elections. Several measures adopted by Karzai in 2012 signalled his focus on the consolidation of his own power position and the attempts to maintain his influence over the country after the elections.

A long-lasting instability in Pakistan was affected by several events in 2013. The country faced social and economic difficulties. Insufficient supplies of energy and sectarian clashes resulted in waves of demonstrations. Security situation remained tense. Pakistani Taliban movement participated in many security incidents, including the Muharram violence and the terrorist attacks on Pakistani representatives. At political level, a conflict between the government and the president and the court resulted in changes in the office of the Prime Minister. Political parties continued their preparations for the May 2013 parliamentary elections. The army management with gen. Kayani as the head kept its distance from political conflicts. Changes in the highest-ranking offices in the army are expected in 2013 (incl. Kayani’s office). In the context of conciliation with Taliban movement and Afghanistan, Pakistan took forthcoming steps in releasing several Taliban fighters from Pakistani prisons at the end of 2012.

Possible destabilisation as a result of autocratic rule in individual countries (except Kyrgyzstan) unable to meet demands of their citizens in social and economic areas and to control bordering areas was apparent in the region of the Central Asia. Latent risks of ethnic conflicts in Kyrgyzstan, increasing tensions between Tadzhikistan and Uzbekistan over water sources  or possible activation of radical Islamist groups following the departure of the allied forces from Afghanistan remained significant factors.

The January parliamentary elections confirmed the dominance of the political powers loyal to the president of Kazakhstan. Changes in high-ranking offices that took place in September 2012 were probably a reflection of President’s efforts of balancing powers of Kazakh ruling elites. Attempts of political elites to strengthen their power were slowed down by the security apparatus in Uzbekistan. Country management continued to strengthen its ties with the USA; the country is interested in maintaining their positions in the region after leaving Afghanistan. A new foreign doctrine of Uzbekistan explicitly forbade the establishment of a foreign military base on its territory, but it did not clearly excluded a possibility of establishing it as a logistic centre. Due to Russian intensified integration attempts in the Central Asia, Uzbekistan withdrew from the Collective Security Treaty Organisation.

Personal changes in Tadzhikistan that occurred in the beginning of 2012 were symbolic; the aim was to calm the discontent of the public and the power consolidation of the president. Activities of Tadzhik opposition were crushed; this created an danger of possible radicalisation of their supporters. The new leadership in Kyrgyzstan resisted the pressure of the opposition and avoided political clashes. The country, similarly to Tadzhikistan, was not able to solve its socio-economic issues, protect its borders or prevent corruption and activities of criminal groups. Tadzhikistan and Kyrgyzstan strengthened their ties with the Russian Federation; Russia secured its military presence in Tadzhikistan till 2042 and made Kyrgyzstan more dependent on Russian security, economic and energy aid.

In 2012 the North Korean political scene was marked by the attempts of its new leader, Kim Jong-Un and the ruling political elite to strengthen their position, stabilise the situation and consolidate power in their own hands at the expense of the army. This attempt was reflected in personal changes in some important offices in the country and in declarations on future economic reforms that should boost life standard of the population. The behaviour and the steps of North Korea were unpredictable and contradicting. On one hand, North Korean leadership declared they wish to apply more open politics (probably with the aim of lowering its dependence on China and gaining material and humanitarian aid); on the other hand, it intensively carried on working on its nuclear and missile programmes.

3. Cooperation with State Bodies and Notification Duty

The Security Council of the Slovak Republic tasks SIS in writing via its chair. The Council is an advisory body to the government of the Slovak Republic; it is chaired by the Prime Minister and the SIS director participates on its meetings. The director of the service orally informs the members of the Council on the assessment of the security situation in the Slovak Republic and the world. Within the Council the Committee on Coordination of Intelligence Services discusses issues relating to intelligence services in the Slovak Republic as well as security issues. The SIS director is a member of the Committee and the Prime Minister is a chair. The director presents the members of the Committee information on intelligence priorities and up-to-date intelligence.

According to the Act on Slovak Information Service, SIS uses official contacts with state bodies, institutions and offices in order to gather information and supporting materials that might lead to clarification required for the fulfilment of the tasks stated in the Act. SIS members establish official contacts upon the director’s approval or authorisation.

In 2012 SIS continued cooperating with the Office of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, the Office of the President of the Slovak Republic, the Cabinet Office of the Slovak Republic and all ministries of the Slovak Republic and their subordinate units. SIS also cooperated with other state offices and institutions.

Within official contacts, SIS gathered information and materials to be used as in analytical or operational activities. SIS also received feedback to its products in order to make its future activities more effective. The service intensively cooperated in the areas of the protection of classified information, security vetting, certification of technical devices, development of information and communication technologies, encrypted protection of information, protection against unauthorised use of information-technical means, legislation and international crisis management.

SIS members established official contacts as a result of their participation in several interdepartmental platforms dealing with state security. For instance, SIS participated in the Expert Group on the Exchange and Analysis of Information and Cooperation in Counter-terrorism, Interdepartmental Expert Coordination Committee for Combatting Crime, Standing Expert Group on Authorising Trades with Military Products, and Standing Interdepartmental Workgroup on Threats to Nuclear Facilities.

In cooperation with the Police Force, SIS provided details and prepared an implementation mechanism for declaring the level of terrorist threat in the Slovak Republic processed within the interdepartmental Expert Group on the Exchange and Analysis of Information and Cooperation in Counter-terrorism in the Slovak Republic in 2011. The preparation process resulted in a 4-level scale, in which individual levels have associating colours and are described as follows: low (white), middle (yellow), high (orange) and critical (red) levels of terrorist threats (as a regulation of the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic with effect from 1 March 2013).

In some specific cases, SIS cooperated with individual units of the Police Force. The aim was common activities was to design security measures of the Police Force in order to prevent illegal activities – especially in the areas of organised crime, protection of the Constitutional system, counter-extremism, and illegal migration. A common operation relating to illegal migration serves as an example of successful cooperation between SIS and the Police Force. Based on intelligence of January 2012, the National Unit for Combatting Illegal Migration carried out operational examination. In connection with the gathered intelligence, an operation not only in the Slovak Republic, but also in other 13 countries was carried out on 29 January 2013 with Europol responsible for communication. In connection with this operation, 5 perpetrators were arrested and charged with people smuggling.

In the Strategic Focus areas, SIS forwarded 407 intelligence products to its customers - 109 products (27 %) relating to security, 126 (31 %) relating to economy and 172 (42 %) relating to foreign politics, as the following figure shows:

Figure 1: Intelligence product areas from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2012.

Intelligence product areas from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2012

4. State of Affairs, Basic Activities and SIS Oversight

4.1 Personnel matters


On 31 December 2012, the total of SIS members accounted for 83 % of the planned state; compared to the previous year, the number decreased (84 % on 31 December 2011). Personal structure according to the basic demographics remains unchanged when compared to previous years.

60 % are men, 40 % are women. 58 % is younger than 40 and 68 % have university degree.

Figure 2: SIS members according to gender, age and education

SIS members according to gender, age and education

4.2 Technical and Material Supplies State of Affairs and SIS Budget Spending

SIS Budget

Draft of the budget of the budget chapter of SIS for 2012 was discussed and approved in the National Council of the Slovak Republic within the limits submitted by the Government of the Slovak Republic totalling EUR 41.551.711 for Information activity programme. Ordinary expenses totalled EUR 40.555.711 and capital expenses totalled EUR 996.000. Incomes approved totalled EUR 160.000 .

In 2012 SIS utilised expenses to 100 %; income reached 101%. All binding budget indicators were met.

Technical and material supplies

The needs and the requirements of the service concerning technical and material supplies were carried out only in the most necessary cases and the much-needed technological development was therefore limited.

Taking the general cost-cutting trend into account, a critical state in the area of information and communication systems occurred. Despite regular maintenance and repairs and due to physical and moral wear of the given systems, occurring failures might endanger tasks of the service.

In relation to cost-cutting measures, SIS performed tasks in technical and material supplies area in accordance with generally binding and internal regulations. SIS drew finances from the state budget taking the purpose given, efficiency and economy into account.

4.3 Information and Technical Means

According to Section 10 (1b) of the Act of the National Council of the Slovak Republic  49/1993 Coll. on the Slovak Information Service as subsequently amended and Section 2 (2) of the Act 166/2003 Coll. on the Protection of Privacy against Unauthorised Use of Information-technical Means amending and supplementing certain Acts (Act on the Protection against Interception) as subsequently amended, SIS is authorised to use information-technical means (ITM) in order to carry out its legal tasks. These means can be utilised to infringe privacy of persons without their prior approval in accordance with the conditions stated in the law.

These means can be utilised upon a prior approval of the judge. It is possible to utilise ITM for a period of no more than 6 months. This period starts upon the day the approval is granted. If necessary to utilise several types of ITM at once or subsequently, each ITM can only be utilised in the scope approved. If ITM are to be utilised in places not accessible to the general public, the judge granting the approval decides whether the approval is also given for entering such places.

In 2012 SIS submitted 218 requests to utilise ITM; 216 requests were approved; two requests were rejected.

Out of 216 uses of ITM, 195 cases were evaluated in terms of aims and purposes stated by law. The aims and purposes as defined by law were reached in 165 cases; in 30 cases it were not. It was not possible to evaluate the remaining 21 cases to date***.

Table 1: The use of information-technical means (ITM) in 2012

    Number of uses

Sec. 2 par. 1

letter a)

Sec. 2 par. 1

letter b)

Sec. 2 par. 1

letter c)


1. Number of ITM use requests – Sec. 4 par. 1 1 194 23 218
2. O/W: approvals 1 192 23 216
3.           rejections 0 2 0 2
4. Number of ITM renewal requests to prolong the period of ITM use within the same case – Sec. 4 par. 2 0 0 0 0
5. O/W: approvals 0 0 0 0
6.           rejections 0 0 0 0
7. Number of ITM uses in accordance with Sec. 5 par. 1, 2 – additional approvals - - - -
8. O/W: approvals - - - -
9.           rejections - - - -
10. Number of ITM uses that reached aims and purposes as stated by law ** 0 146 19 165
11. Number of ITM uses that did not reach aims and purposes as stated by law ** 1 27 2 30
12. Number of ITM uses where information were used as evidence in criminal proceedings**** - - - -
13. Number of illegitimate ITM uses 0 0 0 0
14. Total number of ITM use requests
total rows 1+4+7
1 194 23 218
15. Total number of approvals
total row 2+5+8
1 192 23 216
16. Total number of rejections total row 3+6+9 0 2 0 2


Concordance between the number of requests and approvals for the use of information-technical means in 2011 was confirmed by the District Court in Bratislava.

*           Each ITM renewal request counts as an individual ITM case.

**          SIS is not entitled to use ITM without a prior authorisation of the judge (on contrary to the Police Force)

***        Number of closed and evaluated cases to the date of forwarding the Report on the Use of Information-technical Means to the Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic on Defence and Security in March 2013. Other cases were either on-going or a 30-day evaluation period did not end.

****       The aim of using ITM by the Slovak Information Service is not primarily the use of gathered intelligence in criminal proceedings as SIS is not a prosecuting authority in compliance with the law of the Slovak Republic. The results of the use of ITM are forwarded to prosecuting authorities for their own purposes.


Technical means applied along with strict organisation and control measures guarantee the legality of ITM use and exclude the possibility of unauthorised access into a monitoring system or data storage and archives. Handling with information regarding the use of ITM and the accompanying documents relating to ITM is in accordance with internal regulations and Act 166/2003 Coll.

Throughout 2012, there was not a single case of illegitimate use of ITM by SIS.


4.4 Cooperation between SIS and Foreign Intelligence Services

The development of international cooperation in 2012 continued. Bilateral cooperation was focused especially on deepening existing relations with partner intelligence services in the areas of operations and analyses. Bilaterally, SIS cooperates with 74 partner services.

Counter-terrorism, counter-extremism, proliferation of dual use materials, illegal defence product trade, illegal migration, organised crime and foreign intelligence service activities were the main topics of cooperation. Cooperation was also focused on protecting security, political and economic interests of the Slovak Republic and monitoring development in risk and conflict regions. New topics were opened in the classified information and cyberspace protection .

Active cooperation on multilateral levels between intelligence services continued in accordance with the plans and the SIS Strategic Focus.

4.5 Legislation and Supervision


On the level of legislation, SIS cooperates with ministries, other central state authorities and state bodies. In 2012 SIS commented on more than 90 documents intended for interdepartmental consultation. The aim of the comments was to draw proposer’s attention to issues if implemented and create a legal base for proper and effective performance of SIS legal tasks.


Under the supervision of the state, 20 inspections were conducted in the areas of security and protection of health, security of technical devices, fire protection and state health inspection.

4.6 Oversight of the legality of SIS activities carried out by the Oversight Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic for Oversight of the Activities of the Slovak Information Service

The Oversight Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic for Oversight of the Activities of the Slovak Information Service (the Committee) is a body of external parliamentary oversight and carries out overseeing tasks of the National Council of the Slovak Republic in compliance with Act 46/1993 Coll. as subsequently amended in relation to the legality of SIS activities and it effectively contributes to maintaining applicable guarantees of legality of the service as a central intelligence body of the Slovak Republic. In accordance with the Constitution of the Slovak Republic, this ensures the right to legally carry out oversight of generally binding regulations backed by the legal power of the Constitution, fundamental laws and the law. It is one of the tools that maintains the principles of power division and counter-balance. Oversight of the legality of SIS activities carried out by a dedicated parliamentary body ensures its legal and legitimate activities despite the fact that in order to carry out its legal defined tasks it is necessary to observe strict legal limits of the scope of the civil intelligence service in relation to constitutional authorities that are the service’s customers or taking the legal regulations defined in international treaties and agreements the Slovak Republic is bound to into account.

In accordance with the valid legal regulation the external parliamentary oversight body carries out subsequent oversight of the legality of SIS activities. To perform the oversight power the director general of SIS is legally required to present a set of documents to this oversight body, i.e. the Code of Practice, budget, the SIS annual report, and a clearly specified number of internal regulations approved by the SIS director that list the scope and organisation structure of the service, the requirements for the use of special powers, and the details on record-keeping and on service of SIS officers. Members of this parliamentary oversight body are entitled to enter secured and protected premises of the service in order to carry out physical inspection of such premises. If the SIS Act is breached the oversight body is legally required to inform the National Council and the General Prosecutor’s Office as a constitutional authority that protects the rights and interests of natural persons, legal entities and the state. As it is a body that presents the President of the Slovak Republic proposals for appointment or dismissal of SIS directors, the oversight body may also decide whether the Government of the Slovak Republic will be informed. Besides the Committee, the National Council of the Slovak Republic discusses the annual report submitted by the director of the service at least once a year.

To provide a comprehensive picture, besides the given oversight tools, the National Council of the Slovak Republic pays  greater attention to the use of special powers used for clandestine gathering of information that SIS and other authorised state bodies may infringe privacy rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Currently the Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic on Defence and Security is authorised to oversee the use of these special powers.

In 2012 the Oversight Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic that Oversees the Activities of the Slovak Information Service and the Slovak Information Service closely discussed the application of proper legal tools for ensuring the parliamentary oversight of SIS activities as well as securing the ad hoc inspections initiated by the Committee members or Slovak citizens and upon specific requests of the Committee, in which SIS was asked to liaise on.

2012 data confirm the positive trend of increasingly more frequent sessions of the Oversight Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic that Oversees the Activities of the Slovak Information Service resulting from the initiative of the service. The frequency of such session was higher than the law requires in 2012. This initiative was welcomed by the members of the Committee as well as SIS management.

Table 2: Statistical data on the activities of Oversight Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic that Oversees the Activities of the Slovak Information Service (2012)

Number of sessions
Own initiatives of the Committee
SIS initiatives
Approved resolutions

In relation to the exercise of the standard scope of legal rights of the parliamentary oversight body in 2012, the director of SIS met the legally defined requirements and presented the documents requested to the body – the Code of Practice, internal regulations defined in the Act on the Slovak Information Service and the 2011 SIS Annual Report. In accordance with the resolution of the Committee on presenting a SIS Status Report semi-annually, a SIS Status Report was presented in the first half of 2012. In relation to SIS budget spending in compliance with Act on the 2012 state budged and Act on the 2013 state budget, the director of the service presented the Committee a draft of the final budget of the State Budget Chapter 09 – SIS for 2012 and a draft of the budget of the state budget Chapter 09 – SIS for 2013 for discussion and as requested. In connection with the SIS financial aspects, the members were interested in legal and internal regulations regulating the use of special financial resources and the system of internal review of the cost efficiency in relation to performing clandestine operative tasks.

The Committee also discussed appeals of natural persons for alleged illegal proceedings carried out by the service. Having applied its powers, the Committee resolved the appeals were unjustified. Special attention of the Committee was given to the activities of the service in relation to a so-called Gorila case. Having taken the relevant facts into consideration, the Committee resolved the service obliged its generally binding regulations.

The members of the Committee paid special attention to drafting the new legislation on intelligence services in the Slovak Republic. During several sessions the members of the Committee utilised their expertise and presented several comments that were implemented in the draft. Active approach and participation of the members of the Committee in the drafting process resulted in a positive change of this legal document, particularly in strengthened oversight powers of the legislative power and expanded oversight tools that will ensure effective external oversight of the Slovak Information Service, the Military Intelligence that meets the current international standards.

The Committee was informed of the current state and level of the cooperation between the Slovak Information Service and foreign intelligence services and the activities of foreign intelligence services and counter-espionage protection of the Slovak Republic.

Applying oversight tools for carrying out oversight of SIS activities in 2012 can be considered above-standard, especially taking the scope and openness of the communication into consideration. From social and political points of view, such oversight contributes to strengthened legal assurance that SIS is a modern intelligence service in a democratic state, to gained credibility  in the society and to a role of a sponsor of intelligence protection of the Slovak Republic and its citizens. SIS is ready to liaise effectively and thus apply oversight right of the National Council of the Slovak Republic.

5. Conclusion

In 2012 within its competence and within its authorities, SIS was gathering and providing authorised legal recipients with information, thus fulfilling its tasks in the intelligence and contributing to the protection of constitutional order, to the security of the state and to the protection and the enforcement of foreign political and economic interests of the Slovak Republic.