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Council for Security

The former head of the Serbian State Security Service, Jovica Stanisic, was the most powerful man in Serbia apart from Slobodan Milosevic. The full extent of Milosevic's confidence in Stanisic became apparent when he was appointed as the Presidential Advisor for National Security. In the announcement of his appointment, it was stated that Jovica Stanisic would "perform only the duty of the Chairman of the Council for Security". The 1997 draft Law on the FRY Security-Operative Service envisaged the marginalization of the republican security services, so that all information and evaluations provided by all secret services (the Army service, the Serbian service, the Montenegrin service, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' service) would go directly to a single, more-powerful, and better-organized service accountable only to the President.

Altogether, Stanisic had about 4,000 men under his direction. Under Stanisic's leadership, the Serbian secret police grew into a 300-employee service. He was also in charge ofthe military counterintelligence and intelligence services and the newly established diplomatic secret service, and he also covered the Montenegrin SDB. An additional ,000 people worked for him in these services, plus the same number of contractors, many of whom were members of political parties or work in media or at universities. The rich Tanjug news service network also represented an exceptionally extensive intelligence and agent network.

Jovica Stanisic was born in 1950, and is married with two children. Stanisic was employed by the Serbian police after he had completed the School of Political Sciences, which was in 1974, and Belgrade Law School, the place for the education of new political policemen, who often received scholarships from the state. He worked as a counterintelligence officer in Sector East and became a specialist on the KGB in the Belgrade Directorate of the State Security Service. He was soon appointed as an assistant in the Serbian State Security Counter-Intelligence Sector, where he took part in apprehending notorious world terrorist Illych Ramirez Sanchez, better known as Carlos, at Belgrade's "Excelsior" Hotel. Later, he worked in the Division for Analysis in the State Security Service in Belgrade, and when he changed to the Serbian secret service, he became the deputy head of the Division for Counterintelligence Activities. His successful actions and his overall work recommended him for the post of the assistant chief of State Security.

As the head of the whole SDB operative, during the period of the "anti-bureaucratic revolution" (1987-88), he replaced Zoran Janackovic, who went to be the head of the Information and Archives Service [SID] - the intelligence service of the Federal foreign ministry. The Yugoslav Left [JUL] didn't like him, because they considered him a war-monger, and parts of the military counterintelligence service [KOS] opposed him since his credits included weakening that service.

During the 1991 reorganization of the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs, Stanisic renamed the State Security Service (SDB) secret service as the State Security Division (RDB). He wanted to remove the connotations the term "SDB" which had functioned exclusively as a political police force, and establish the RDB's reputation as a service for fighting terrorists and armed Serbian enemies. In 1993, when the Serbian secret service took over the building of the Federal Secretariat of Internal Affairs on Knez Milos Street in Belgrade, he finally dissociated the Serbian RDB from Yugoslavia. Stanisic's office was still in the SDB part of the building of the former Federal Secretariat of Internal Affairs.

Jovica Stanisic was entrusted with almost all covert operations in Croatia and Bosnia -- from arms supplies to drafting plans of action. He was responsible for the crimes committed during the aggression in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. Before the beginning of the war, the Serbian secret political police provoked violence and interethnic fighting in Croatia and Bosnia. Through criminal types such as Seselj and Arkan, it carried out executions, expulsions and looting. Stanisic undertook a number of measures to hide the crimes from the domestic and world public, representing the events as the consequence of the civil war between the three sides in the conflict. Stanisic played a key role in organizing raids by Serb paramilitary formations against Knin and Vukovar.

During the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the MUP of the Republika Srpska was subordinate to the Belgrade MUP to the same extent that Karadzic's military depended on the General Staff in Belgrade. Karadzic personally asked Milosevic to send Stanisic to him to help him organize para-state and para-police forces. And in May 1995, Stanisic visited Pale to secure the release of the captured UNPROFOR [UN Protection Force] soldiers whom Karadzic's people were holding hostage. In May 1991, his police provided security for Seselj's visit to Romanija, even though at the time there was an arrest warrant out on Seselj from the Croatian MUP.

Stanisic is credited with the disclosure of para-army units and paramilitaries among the Albanian nationalists in Kosovo. It was he who revealed the existence of the Kosovo Liberation Army.

Jovica Stanisic is said to have been one of the best-informed people in Yugoslavia. All the information collected by the intelligence, counterintelligence, and information services, including the military secret service, flowed to Jovica Stanisic. The system he headed was made in such a way that everything ended up at his desk.

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