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Maj. Pierre-Henri BunelSEE ALSO:
Maj. Herve Gourmelon
  News related to Pierre-Henri Bunel    The Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR)
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A French spy inside NATO
A plot to steal Bosnia war plans
By Richard J. Newman
U.S.News & World Report magazine

NATO leaders had already hinted broadly that their attacks would target Serbia's air defense network, command-and-control centers, and major military bases. Some officials even noted that the more that Milosevic knew about NATO's preparations, the more seriously he would have taken its threats.

But the case of the alleged French spy inside NATO's headquarters in Brussels indicates the difficulty of achieving NATO unity in regions where history has forged strong bonds. The French, for instance, are viewed as generally sympathetic to the Serbs, since both fought against the Germans in World War II. Earlier this year, U.S. officials accused another Frenchman of informing Bosnian Serb strongman Radovan Karadzic of plans to apprehend him. And NATO officials suspect Greek nationals–who share Serbia's animosity toward Albanian Muslims–of also passing information to Milosevic. For someone who recently provoked world condemnation, the Serbian leader has a surprising number of friends.
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A Spy in the Ranks
The French uncover a security risk in NATO.
It's probably not the only one.

By Christopher Dickey and Rod Nordland, (Newsweek)

Today there are 16 member countries directly involved in NATO decision making, and they operate by consensus. Theoretically, at least, all of them have to know everything. So some of the "secret" documents Bunel is accused of giving to his Serb case officer were actually shared by as many as 200 NATO officials. Moreover, the members' regional interests are different--in the most extreme case, the mutual hostility between NATO members Greece and Turkey simmers just below the level of outright confrontation. The security situation gets more complicated still when you add 27 NATO partners with varying levels of information-sharing-- including Russia.

Part of the problem is that there is no single organization following all the action. Each country's counterintelligence service is supposed to keep an eye on its own people. But multiple nationalities, even mixed marriages, can complicate the picture. In one of the greatest hemorrhages to Moscow, German NATO official Reiner Rupp and his British wife, a NATO secretary, passed on hundreds of secret documents--including a 478-page report detailing NATO's knowledge of and planned response to the Warsaw Pact's military might. Rupp and his wife were convicted in 1994. He was sentenced to 12 years; she was given a 22-month suspended sentence. (full text)

  News related to Pierre-Henri Bunel  How to become a spy, and why not France distances itself
from NATO officer
accused of aiding Serbs With PM-Yugoslavia-Kosovo

POSTnet --- November 4 1998 05 43 25 AM
Paris AP -- French officials today sought to distance themselves from a French officer accused of supplying sensitive information on planned NATO airstrikes.
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Serbs hailed as friends of French Army

A dozen former French military officers staged a demonstration Tuesday in Paris to demand the release of an officer suspected of spying for Yugoslavia, eyewitnesses said. "The (French) army with the Serbs--Free Major Bunel," read a banner held up by some of the protesters outside the headquarters of the armed forces.

There were no reports ("a senior officer who observed the group" did not tell) whether or how many of those French Army protesters served with UNPROFOR, SFOR, IFOR and/or NATO in Bosnia and Herzegowina or in Croatia during the war. (Mario Profaca)

Paris, Nov. 1998 (Reuters, Chicago Tribune)

They handed out leaflets demanding the release of Maj. Pierre Bunel, an officer at NATO headquarters in Brussels who was jailed in France last month and is under investigation for alleged espionage. Bunel is suspected of giving Belgrade secret documents on threatened NATO airstrikes.
These were averted when Yugoslavia last month accepted a U.S.-brokered deal to end a crackdown against majority ethnic Albanians in Kosovo province.
The leaflets accused the government of "turning their backs . . . on the Serb people, our allies in two world wars . . . Any officer who knows French history and the situation in ex-Yugoslavia and is still ready to accept bombing the Serbs clearly prefers his career to the fraternity of arms."
Leading the demonstration was former Medical Corps Col. Patrick Barriot, pressed into early retirement several years ago for publishing a pro-Serb book. His fellow demonstrators were believed to be retired career officers or civilians who served as junior officers during their national service.
A senior officer who observed the group said he believed most were sympathizers of right-wing National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, who backs the Serb cause.
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French Officers Protest Detention
of Suspected Belgrade Spy

Demonstrators call for solidarity with Serbia

Paris, Nov. 1998 (Reuters, Central Europe Report)

French ministers have denied media reports that Bunel handed over detailed attack plans, saying he did not have access to them. They also rejected accusations that Paris still harbored a pro-Serbian bias, saying the Bunel case was an isolated one unrelated to French policy in the Balkans.
Earlier this year, U.S. officials complained that NATO had to scrap a secret 1997 plan to arrest former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic. They accused a French army major of holding secret meetings with the accused war criminal during which details of the operation might have been divulged.
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France Sees NATO Ties
Unhurt by Spy Case

Washington Post
By Charles Trueheart, Washington Post Foreign Service,
Correspondent William Drozdiak in Berlin contributed to this report.
Wednesday November 4 1998 Page A16 Paris Nov 3.

The officer, army Maj. Pierre Bunel, was working at NATO headquarters in Brussels as chief of staff to France's top military representative, Gen. Pierre Wiroth, when his behavior reportedly aroused the suspicions of France's military intelligence service.

Sources in Paris and Brussels said it was unlikely Bunel had access to any detailed targeting plans, but rather may have known in more general terms about possible military sites. NATO threatened last month to launch punitive air strikes against Yugoslav military targets if Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic did not withdraw army and special police forces that were attacking ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, an embattled province of Yugoslavia's dominant republic, Serbia.

Milosevic ultimately withdrew a sufficient number of forces, and NATO on Oct. 27 put off any military action.

France is not part of NATO's military command structure, and Bunel's duties and security clearance in Brussels reflected that limited role, sources said.

Bunel, 46, a 26-year career Arabic-language specialist, was arrested and questioned by the French Defense Protection and Security Directorate about two weeks ago. After notifying the United States and other allies that a likely French spy had been caught, Defense Minister Alain Richard turned the case over to a civilian investigating magistrate, Gilbert Thiel, last Friday. Bunel was jailed Saturday.

France has been criticized for its perceived opportunism in the Balkans dating to the breakup of the former Yugoslavia nearly a decade ago. As war broke out in Croatia and Bosnia early in this decade, the late French president Francois Mitterrand made little secret of his affinity for the Serbian position. France has since come under criticism by its NATO allies for failing to arrest Bosnian Serb war crimes suspects in French-controlled sectors of Bosnia.

Many here trace France's "Serb connection" to their common enmity against Germany, in World War I and World War II. A more optimistic interpretation of the spying case was expressed by a non-French official, who said the decisive action to arrest Bunel could improve France's standing with its Western allies.

As a symbol of the full military reintegration in NATO that it wants, the French government is seeking to play a leadership role in the NATO ground force that is scheduled to be posted in Macedonia to protect 2,000 unarmed international officials who will be deployed in Kosovo to verify Yugoslavia's compliance with its agreements to seek a peaceful solution to the crisis in the province. (full text)

World Digest

Daily Southtown --- World Digest Wednesday November 4 1998

Spy case damages French bid
for key Kosovo role

The Times, London -- November 4 1998, From Charles Bremner in Brussels
Investigators were seeking yesterday to determine how much of Nato's military planning was betrayed to Serbia by a French officer.

France Says Spy Case Will Not Harm NATO Ties

FOX News --- France Says Spy Case Will Not Harm NATO Ties 12 14 a m ET 515 GMT November 4 1998 Paris
The French government said Tuesday its often troubled ties to NATO would not be harmed by charges that a French army officer working in the alliance

dailynews.yahoo.com
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news.ninemsn.com.au
FOX News

Pro-Serb armyman held for spying

Dawn Internet Edition --- 04 November 1998 Wednesday 14 Rajab 1419
Pro-Serb armyman held for spying Paris Nov 3 A French army officer was arrested for handing NATO secrets to Yugoslavia by members of France s own military intelligence service the Defence Protection.

NEWS

The Independent - UK ---
Paris shamed by Nato spy arrest By John Lichfield in Paris Paris has been deeply embarrassed by the arrest of a pro-Serb French military officer who was allegedly passed Nato operational secrets to Belgrade The arrest of Commandant Pierre Bunel

France faces
new 'pro-Serbia' embarrassment
in espionage affair

The Nando Times Copyright © 1998 Nando Media Copyright © 1998 AFP Paris November 3 1998 2 50 p m EST http www nandotimes com - The arrest of a French spy for Serbia is only the latest though

NATO spy damage said limited, but France stung

CNN --- 3 November, 1998 Brussels Nov 3 Reuters


  News related to Pierre-Henri Bunel  French officer accused of
telling Serbs of bomb targets

The Dallas Morning News
New York Times News Service,
Paris , 3 November, 1998.
Kosovo Crisis

The officer, Maj. Pierre Bunel, 46, is suspected of having passed top-secret documents to Serbian agents, officials said. The documents related information about military targets that NATO forces would hit if President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia failed to meet a deadline of Oct. 27 to stop an offensive against civilians in Kosovo, the mainly ethnic Albanian province of Serbia. NATO officials in Brussels had no comment on the arrest. Maj. Bunel admitted passing documents to the Serbs but said he had acted out of sympathy for the Serbian cause, not for money, the officials said.
(Full text)


Maj. Herve GourmelonSEE ALSO:
Maj. Pierre-Henri Bunel
"Time to go, boys!"
U.S. soldiers told the Serb commanders of a mechanized brigade in northern Bosnia, according to NATO spokesman Maj. Herve Gourmelon.

   Ratko Mladic    The Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR)
Monday, 19 February 1996
Bosnian Serb general a no-show at meeting
© Nando.net / The Associated Press

There have been reports that Karadzic passed checkpoints manned by NATO-led troops without difficulty. NATO had said it would not seek out war crimes suspects, but would detain them if they were seen.
   Radovan Karadzic

Gen. Zdravko Tolimir, deputy commander of the Bosnian Serb army, did not arrive at Sarajevo airport by the time the talks were to have started aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington.
A U.S. Navy C-2 plane flew the commander of the Muslim-led government army, Gen. Rasim Delic, Bosnian Croat Maj. Gen. Zivko Budimir, and Lt. Gen. Sir Michael Walker, commander of NATO ground troops in Bosnia, to the ship.
There, they met with U.S. Adm. Leighton Smith, overall NATO commander for Bosnia, and Carl Bildt, the top civilian official for the peace accord. Smith tersely told reporters on board, "Tolimir is coming," but there was no sign of him 90 minutes after talks should have started. Milosevic and the self-styled Bosnian Serb prime minister, Rajko Kasagic, had said in Rome that the Bosnian Serbs would go back to talks, severed after the government arrested two Bosnian Serb officers and extradited them for questioning to the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, an indicted war criminal, said Serbs have no choice but to flee. Hundreds did so over the weekend in the first exodus organized by Serb authorities, panicking after international mediators moved up the phased transfer of Serb districts.
On Sunday, American troops, backed by tanks and helicopter gunships, forced Bosnian Serb tanks and armored vehicles to abandon front-line positions held in violation of the peace accord. "Time to go, boys," U.S. soldiers told the Serb commanders of a mechanized brigade in northern Bosnia, according to NATO spokesman Maj. Herve Gourmelon.
Peter Fitzgerald, head of the small international civilian police force in the city, said today that the transfer of Serb districts to the government will begin at 6 a.m. Friday, with the arrival of 85 Muslim and Croat police in Serb-held Vogosca, just north of Sarajevo. In all, 545 Muslim and Croat police -- overseen by an unarmed, 300-member international monitoring force -- will patrol the five suburbs that will be handed over to the government at six-day intervals beginning Friday, Fitzgerald said.
He appealed to Serb police to stay, but told reporters bluntly: "I have to tell you ... that none of them will stay."
The meeting also reportedly yielded agreement on new rules about arresting war criminals. NATO said today that it was printing and distributing 10,000 wanted posters showing photographs of 17 of the 52 indicted war criminals. Only one is in custody. There have been reports that Karadzic passed checkpoints manned by NATO-led troops without difficulty. NATO had said it would not seek out war crimes suspects, but would detain them if they were seen.
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The Hunt For Karadzic

The inside story of the American and French plans to capture--or kill--Bosnia's leading war criminal. So where is he now, and why hasn't he been arrested?

  The Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR)  By Thomas Sancton and Gilles Delafon, Paris
--With reporting by Mark Thompson /Washington
Sancton and Delafon are co-authors of the forthcoming book
Dear Jacques, Cher Bill: The Intimate History of a Presidential
Relationship (Editions Plon)

© Time Magazine
August 10, 1998, vol. 152 no. 6


A senior French official who had recently returned from Bosnia had convinced Chirac that Mladic and Karadzic still controlled the situation on the ground and could derail the accords at any time.
Clinton had heard this argument before. On Nov. 22, the day after the Dayton talks ended, the U.S. President had met with his advisers in the White House to assess the agreement. With his characteristic verve, Holbrooke had urged that Karadzic and Mladic be arrested and tried by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague. But the rules of engagement specified that peacekeepers could arrest suspects only if they "happened" upon them. It was an ambiguity that allowed Karadzic to drive unmolested through several NATO checkpoints after Dayton.
Chirac argued forcefully that Mladic and Karadzic must be brought to justice. High-level French sources deny that the two Presidents explicitly discussed the idea of assassinating the two Bosnian Serbs, but they admit the possibility was seriously examined by French and American intelligence services. Indeed, according to a senior NATO military officer, undercover French troops literally had Mladic and Karadzic in their crosshairs on several occasions but did not fire because there was never an official green light.
Clinton and Chirac agreed that night on the principle of a joint commando raid to capture the two suspects, and a secret Franco-American military committee was organized and assigned to plan the operation. The intelligence services of both countries set about tracking the movements, hideouts and habits of both men.
Meanwhile, U.S. and French experts devised a plan to support local moderates and destabilize Karadzic politically. Holbrooke wanted to isolate Karadzic by jamming all his electronic communications. "But the CIA fought the idea tooth and nail and told me it was technically impossible," fumes Holbrooke. "And that's bull!" A former senior CIA official confirms that such a plan was discussed.
The kidnapping scheme, in the meantime, ran into difficulties. For one thing, the services lost track of Mladic, who is believed to have left the country. The planning then focused on Karadzic. But there were repeated delays. "It's an extremely complicated job of intelligence gathering and military preparation," says a French official. "You need just the right opportunity to carry it out."
By April 1997 a fully detailed plan complete with maps, diagrams and operational data had been drafted and printed in the form of a half-inch-thick booklet with an orange cover; code name: Operation Amber Star. It called for a two-pronged raid involving several hundred soldiers in which helicopter-borne French troops would "neutralize" the 30-man guard around Karadzic, while an elite U.S. commando force would move in and seize the suspect. Depending on the circumstances, those roles could be reversed. But such a hazardous operation could not proceed without head-of-state approval.
On May 27, the 15 Atlantic Alliance leaders and Russian President Boris Yeltsin gathered in Paris to sign the nato-Russian treaty. After the speeches had been delivered and the documents signed, the distinguished guests retired to the garden of the Elysee Palace to chat over champagne and hors d'oeuvres. Chirac caught Clinton by the arm and pulled him off to the side for a private chat with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and newly elected British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The subject of this impromptu mini-summit: the plan to kidnap Karadzic.
But senior French and American officials also delivered a stern warning to Karadzic, saying in effect, "Either you give up voluntarily, or we are coming to get you. If we do, many people could be killed--including you."
A French intelligence officer, Major Herve Gourmelon, long known for his pro-Serb sentiments, apparently got too chummy in his dealings with Karadzic's people and was yanked back to Paris last December. Press leaks out of Washington charged that Gourmelon had warned Karadzic of the kidnapping operation and had even given him the plans. The French admitted their officer had exceeded his authority but denied that he handed over, or ever possessed, the top-secret operational details. Furious over the episode, Chirac ordered an investigation, which concluded that there had been some "carelessness" but "no grave fault."
The Gourmelon affair undermined, at least temporarily, Franco-American cooperation on the war-criminals issue. The plan to arrest Karadzic was put on hold in the late summer of 1997 by U.S. General Wesley Clark when he learned of the Gourmelon meetings. Last week the New York Times reported that Washington had finally scrapped all plans to nab Karadzic and Mladic because of U.S. military fears of a bloodbath, repeated French hesitations and the risk of Serb aggression.
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France denies foiling NATO plan to arrest Bosnian Serb war-crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic

By Charles Trueheart
Washington Post Service
Published Friday, April 24, 1998,
in the Miami Herald

PARIS -- Faced with embarrassing disclosures about a French military officer's contacts in Bosnia with Bosnian Serb war-crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic, the French government Thursday denied ``categorically'' that the officer had compromised an allied plan to capture Karadzic. The French presidential palace and Foreign Ministry maintained near-silence on the case, first reported in Thursday's Washington Post, offering a terse Defense Ministry communique as the official response of the French government.
The statement did not deny the report that the officer had met repeatedly with Karadzic, but it said only that ``a French officer maintained various contacts consonant with his orders. As soon as the course of these contacts could have appeared questionable, this officer was immediately given a new assignment in France.''
The Defense Ministry said the officer's actions ``in no way jeopardized Radovan Karadzic's arrest.'' It repeated the French government's support for bringing Karadzic and all other indicted war crimes suspects from the 1992-95 Balkans conflict to justice at the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands. Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb political leader, and his former military chief Ratko Mladic are the most-wanted of the suspects still at large. Karadzic was last seen in public in September 1996, but is widely believed to be in Bosnia in a zone controlled by the French.
Charges of genocide The U.N. tribunal has indicted Karadzic on two counts of genocide, including charges he is responsible for the deaths of thousands of non-Serbs during the 3 1/2-year Bosnian War that ended in 1995.
A French Defense Ministry spokesman, Pierre Bayle, and his counterpart at the Foreign Ministry, Anne Gazeau-Secret, refused to elaborate on the statement or to provide any details about the French officer, whom they did not name.
Sources identified him as army Maj. Herve Gourmelon, the principal liaison officer to the Serbs inside the French military sector of Bosnia. His transfer occurred in December, four or five months after NATO plans reportedly were drawn up for the arrest of Karadzic. It is unclear when U.S. officials, according to sources, confronted the French with evidence of the improper contacts.
French officials said Gourmelon had been doing his job maintaining contacts with Bosnian Serbs who might be useful in apprehending war crimes suspects or persuading them to surrender. But by meeting with Karadzic, a violation of NATO rules, the officer crossed a line, according to a French official, who argued that the communique's opaque language should be read as a reprimand against the officer.
Senior U.S. officials were quoted by The Post as saying that France's role in the botched plan to arrest Karadzic had poisoned relations with the United States, Britain and other NATO allies involved in maintaining peace in Bosnia and bringing war criminals to justice.
State Department spokesman James P. Rubin on Thursday referred questions about the matter to the French government after saying France and the United States ``have worked extremely well together.''
France's sometimes ambivalent attitude toward the U.N. war crimes tribunal burst into controversy in mid-December, when Defense Minister Alain Richard said French officers called to testify in The Hague would ``never'' be permitted to participate in a ``judicial spectacle.'' Richard's comments embarrassed his government and drew denunciations in the French press. They prompted the chief prosecutor at the tribunal, Canadian Louise Arbour, to charge that France was failing to forcefully pursue the arrest of persons indicted as war crimes suspects in the French sector of Bosnia.
``Many war criminals can be found in the French sector,'' she said in Le Monde newspaper, ``and they feel absolutely safe'' from arrest.
(full text)


A Major Disturbance Mystery
over a French officer's role in Bosnia
By Massimo Calabresi
© TIME
May 4, 1998 Vol. 151 No. 18

Everyone makes mistakes. Take French Army Maj. Herve Gourmelon. Back in 1994, while a press officer for UNPROFOR, the U.N. military mission in Bosnia, Gourmelon was caught on hidden video rifling through the desk of UNPROFOR's military commander, Gen. Michael Rose, according to sources in Sarajevo. "He was the most obvious spook in town," says one Bosnia-based Western diplomat. Thereafter marked as an active French agent among the international community, Gourmelon -- known for being an amiable, pipe-smoking guy who once accidentally discharged his pistol in the office and bought champagne to apologize -- was nonetheless tolerated by U.S. and European delegations. "It was known that he passed information to the Serbs [and] sometimes that was useful," the diplomat says, adding: "What has been alleged now does not fall into the 'useful' category."
According to reports in the Washington Post last week, Gourmelon met with Bosnia's most wanted alleged war criminal, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, throughout 1997--and possibly leaked information to him about NATO plans for his arrest. U.S. officials in Washington have leveled the charges, saying the NATO commander in Bosnia, U.S. Gen. Wesley Clarke, scrapped plans to arrest Karadzic late last summer after learning of the meetings. Karadzic is accused of genocide and crimes against humanity for the slaughter of civilians in Sarajevo and Srebenica during the war.
In a terse statement Thursday, the French Defense Ministry denied "categorically" that NATO plans had been jeopardized, and said only that "a French officer maintained various contacts consonant with his orders. As soon as the course of these contacts could have appeared questionable, this officer was immediately given a new assignment in France." A high-ranking French diplomat adds: "If his contact with the Bosnian Serbs had an impact on the decision not to go ahead with the plan, then it was one of many elements. This is not a big deal." NATO spokesmen say military relations with the French remain solid despite the affair and Paris officials say the whole thing is an anti-French ruse to undermine its reputation abroad at a time when members of the previous government are answering accusations they abetted genocide in Rwanda.
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