Conferences and seminars


  • 23/05/2014: Conference "D-day minus x: intelligence activities along and over the Atlantikwall", Raversyde (Ostend) FULLU BOOKED!
  • 06/12/2013: International conference: "Open Source & Social Media Intelligence" 
  • 10/06/2013: "Espionage during and after the cold war 'revisited'"
  • 19/03/2013: "The chronicles of my hidden war: 1941-1944 - by Fernand Debreyne"
  • 19/11/2012: “Cyberthreats – Cyberwar - Cyberdefence : Pearl Harbor or a death of a thousand cuts?"
  • 02/05/2012: “Governments and economic intelligence policies in Belgium"
  • 01/12/2011: "Ethics and intelligence: oxymoron
  • 01/03/2011: "Intelligence and security studies: history and future


BISC-conference :

“D-day minus x - Intelligence activities along and over the Atlantikwall”

Guided visit of the Atlantikwall


May 23rd  2014,  Raversyde (Ostend)



This conference is the first part of a tryptich of activities organised by or in collaboration with the Province of West-Flanders. Part 2 on June 5th focusses on the physical remains of the defence line. Part 3, on June 6th, focusses on the artistic influence of the Atlantikwall. A detailed program will follow shortly.

70 years ago the allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy, where they were confronted with the largest and most expensive defence structure of recent history: the Atlantikwall. This defence line of bunkers, trenches and barricades was built during the Second World War, streching from Norway to the French-Spanish border. At the Belgian coast one finds one of the few remaining original parts of the Atlantikwall.

The story of the landings in 1944 and the Altantikwall has already been told numerous times.  However, what happened before the landings and behind the Atlantikwall is less well known. A successful military operation requires very good preparation and precise intelligence about the operational environnement and the capabilities of the enemy.  Once the soldiers are on the beach, it is too late to collect intelligence. This inspires the titel of this conference: ‘D-day minus X : intelligence activities along and over the Atlantikwall’.

Intelligence can be gathered in several ways. A first way of collecting information is IMINT or Image Intelligence. The RAF took millions of high resolution images all over occupied Europe, and also of the Atlantikwall at the Belgian coast. How this was done will be shown with original images that will be scrutenised and commented by a contemporary IMINT-specialist.  However, areal photography has its limits: what moves or is hidden, escapes detection. Ground-level human intelligence-activities (HUMINT) are thus vital to build the whole picture. The conference therefore also focuses on the story of the Belgian clandestine intelligence networks: the ‘London agents’, especially at the coast. Academic research and the testimony of a relative of one of those agents will bring these activities to life, also focussing on the crucial work in the Belgian coast area of the Agent de Renseignement et d’Action (ARA) Roger Morsa. However, the agents on the ground could not be effective without outside help : the task to support the clandestine operations and to bring the collected intelligence back to London fell again upon the RAF. A well know historian of the Cabinet Office and author of numerous publications on the allied intelligence services will explain the role of the Special Duties Squadrons.

During the day some original material never before shown to the public will be on exposition. All participants are also invited to a guided visit of the Atlantikwall in Raversyde.




The powerpoint presentations of the speakers can be downloaded in the program.

President: R. Libert, Director of Analysis (State Security)

09h45: Registration of the participants - coffee

10h15: Welcome by Mr. C. Decaluwé, Governor of the Province of West-Flanders and Mr. G. Rapaille, president of the BISC

10h30: About the Atlanticwall 
Mr. M. de Meyer (co-ordinator and curator of the provincial domain Raversyde)

10h55: Intelligence activities from the air: air photography of the Atlantikwall from a present point of view
Cpt-Cdt Avi A. Vecchiato (Miltary Intelligence and Security Service)

11h25Activities of the intelligence and resistance groups in occupied Belgium and activities on the field along the coast
Dr. E. De Bruyne (lecturer UCL) and Mrs. E. Slegers (National heritage projects Villakulla, the Netherlands)

12h25: Lunch - exposition

13h30: Roger Morsa, focus on a Special Intelligence and Action Agent
Mr. S. Morsa (academic assistant at Oxyrane Belgium NV and grandson of Mr. Roger Morsa)

13h50: Secret Flights. The role of the Royal Air Force's Special Duties Squadrons in supporting clandestine operations in Belgium, 1940-1945
Mr. M. Seaman (Historian, Cabinet Office, London)

14h45: Conclusions 
Prof. dr. M. Cools (Professor Free Brussels University and Ghent University and director of BISC)

14h55: Closing of the conference and invitation to the Atlantikwall
Mr. M. de Meyer (co-ordinator and curator of the provincial domain Raversyde)

15h00:  Coffee

15h15: Guided visit of the Atlanticwall (reservation in advance) - End foreseen around 16h45.



Members of Defense, members of the Intelligence and Security services, academic world and students (historians), members of the Police, politicians, administrations, economic and industrial world, local partners from the heritage sector, guides, professionals interested in WWII-heritage, European partners form other WWII-sites in Belgium and abroad


Provincial domain Raversyde, Ostend, Belgium
Nieuwpoortsesteenweg 636, B-8400 Raversijde-Ostend

By car: There are sufficient parking spaces at the Provincial Domain Raversyde.

Public transport: from the train station of Ostend you can take the coastal tramcar, stop 32 “Domein Raversijde” + a 10 minutes walk along the footpath in the dunes or you can take the bus “Museumlijn” 68 or 69, stop “domein Raversijde”.


Co-ordination and preparation


Marc Cools, Ghent University and Free University of Brussels
Emmanuel Debruyne, Catholic University of Louvain
Frank Franceus, Comittee R
Patrick Leroy, Miltary Intelligence & Security
André Lemaître, University of Liège
Robin Libert, State Security Service
Veerle Pashley, Ghent University & Free University of Brussels
Guy Rapaille, Comittee R
Maj Alain Segers, School for Intelligence and Security
David Stans, University of Liège
Gen Eddy Testelmans, Miltary Intelligence & Security Service
Alain Winants, State Security

Province of West-Flanders:

Mathieu de Meyer, Co-ordinator and curator at Raversyde
Benoit Strubbe, Project worker Interreg IVA-project “WW2-heritage” (Cultural Service)
Carl Decaluwé, governor of the Province West-Flanders
Myriam Vanlerberghe, deputee for culture of the Province of West-Flanders

Estelle Slegers, National heritage projects Villakulla, Netherlands



Fee: The entrance fee for the conference amounts to 40 euros per participant. The fee includes lunch, coffee breaks and guided visit of the open air museum Atlantikwall. Fulltime students pay a reduced fee of 15 euros per person.

Enrolment: online via or Please indicate if you wish to attend the guided visit to the Atlantikwall.

The Atlantikwall is one of the best preserved parts of the infamous German defence line ‘Atlantikwall’. All constructions on the site were restored to their original condition and refurbished with authentic objects and furniture. The guided tour guides us along more than 60 bunkers, observation posts, artillery positions and subterranean corridors. The tour will take about 1,5 hours.

Payment must be done after receipt of an invoice from CPS-BISC. Cancellations are possible until 3 days before the conference. 

Languages: The presentations will be given in Dutch and English. There will be a simultaneous translation into English.

Info: Belgian Intelligence Studies Centre BISC - a division of the Centre of Policing Studies CPS

Address: Nathalie Roegiers, Pacificatielaan 27, B-9000 Gent
Tel: +32/9/223.24.11, mobile: +32/476/20.29.40, Email:, website:
Company Number: BE 0449.873.429


Online enrolment

We're sorry. It is no longer possible to register for this event. The conference is fully booked.


International conference:

"Open Source & Social Media Intelligence" 

6 December 2013 - Royal Military Academy, Brussels

Every day, we are bombarded with information about a variety of issues: a new scientific discovery, the latest cyber attack, or reports about the use of chemical weapons in Syria. All this information is made available to the general public through sources in the public domain. Within the intelligence community, this public domain is also exploited: it is called open source intelligence (OSINT).

The domain of open sources entails, among others, official documents, newspaper articles, multimedia broadcasting services, but also data derived from websites and social media platforms.

This avalange of information becomes even more gigantic by the millions of individual people that share with us the details of their personal lives and exploits by using social media. This information that is sometimes of a very private nature is fully available trough the internet, visible for all and every purpose. Social media is hot. Most organizations and events have their own digital space, or are being discussed through social media. The phenomenon received a boost during, and in the aftermath of, the Arab Springs.

This conference will reflect on how intelligence services can collect and exploit information derived from open sources and social media. It will also raise your attention to certain challenges like perception management, cognitive and social biases, data overload, and required technologies. The conference will also provide some practical examples on how social media can be used for intelligence purposes.

This conference features actors from Belgium, France, … and the United Kingdom, representing the intelligence community, the military and the academic domain. 


Program in pdf

Presidents: Patrick Leroy, Head Analysis, Military Intelligence and Security Service & Robin Libert, Director of Analysis, State Security Service

9h00:  Registration - coffee

9h30:  Opening of the conference by Mr. Guy Rapaille, Chairman of BISC, Chairman of the Standing Committee I (F)

9h40:  Introduction - Gen-Maj Eddy Testelmans, Head of Military Intelligence and Security Service (ACOS-IS) (N)

10h00: OSINTSensors & Sense making  - Mr Johan Truyens, Military Intelligence and Security Service (ACOS-IS) (N)
The handouts of this presentation will be available on this website as from December 16th 2013.

10h30: OSINT Education at Belgian Defence - Adj. Chef Geert Nijs, Teacher at the Belgian Intelligence & Security School (N)

11u00: Coffee break

11h30: Case studies highlighting the value of real time open source data for day to day policing: John Reid, Founder and CEO of RepKnight and steering committee member for the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) (E)

11h45: Risk mapping: Forecasting political and security risks in the year ahead: Lucy Jones, Control Risks (E)

12h30: Lunch at the atrium

13h30: Introducing social media intelligence: Carl Miller, Centre for the Analysis of social media, DEMOS, UK (E)
For references of papers of Mr Miller: see below

14h30: Coffee break

15h00:  Production of knowledge: Claude Lepère, Founder of I-Cube (F)

15h30:  Social business for intelligence​: John Palfreyman, IBM (E)

16h00: Discussion and Q & Awith the speakers and with Ms Erika Mann, Facebook, Managing Director & Head of Brussels Office, moderated by Prof. dr. Marc Cools, Free University of Brussels & Ghent University (N-F-E)

16h30: Conclusions by Prof. dr. Marc Cools, Free University of Brussels & Ghent University (N)

16h45: Drink at the atrium

Click here for the pictures of this conference.

All the papers are freely available on Carl Miller's profile.
For social media intelligence: 
The State of the Art: A Literature Review of social media intelligence capabilities for counter-terrorism: 
Introducing Social Media Intelligence (SOCMINT): 


Seminar: "Espionage during the cold war 'revisited'"

10/06/2013, Hall "Luc-Marc", Belgian State Security Service, Brussels


Seminar: "The chronicles of my hidden war: 1941-1944 - by Fernand Debreyne"

19/03/2013, Hall « Luc - Marc » - Belgian State Security Service, North Gate I, Koning Albert II-laan 6, 1000 Brussels

Colloquium: "Cyberthreats – Cyberwar - Cyberdefence : Pearl Harbor or a death of a thousand cuts?"

Colloqium organised by the  Belgian Intelligence Studies Centre and the and the "Study Centre of Military Law and the Law of War”.

19/11/2012, Royal Military Academy, Brussels

In the aftermath of the wargame ‘Digital Pearl Harbor,’ that was developed for the U.S. Naval War College at the beginning of the new millennium, 79 % of all participants were conviced that the outbreak of cyberwar would be very likely in the next few years. In 2007, a botnet of computers situated in 178 different countries attacked Estonian websites and systems, causing an estimated economic damage of several million euros. In the summer of 2012, a group of hackers called Anonymous announced that they would launch an attack on the third largest Australian internet access provider because it conserved userdata for too long a period and proposedly did not enough to secure their userdatabases. And in the section ‘cyber crimes’ on the site of the FBI one can find on a permanent basis, photos of serveral persons wanted for diffusion of pedopornography, bank fraude, emailfraude and other infractions committed on the internet.

What are the threats that go with cyberwar cybercriminaly, cyberespionnage and hacktivism ? How can we react ? What are the legal implications What political initiatives have been undertaken by the Belgian authorities? Should we fear a digital Pearl Harbour or rather a silent assault on our public services, private enterprises and our economy, resulting in a 'death of a thousand cuts’ as the White house security advisor, Richard Clarke, put it. And how does these threats are managed beyond our national frontiers ?

This conference features actors from Belgium, the Netherlands and the United States of America, representing the intelligence community, the military and academic, humanitarian and political experts.


Patrick Leroy, Head Analysis, Military Intelligence and Security Service & Robin Libert, Director Analysis, State Security Service

9h15: Opening of the conference by the presidents - Patrick Leroy, Head Analysis, Military Intelligence and Security Service & Robin Libert, Director Analysis, State Security Service

9h20: Introduction - Pieter De Crem, Minister of Defense

9h40: Vision of the Belgian Military Intelligence Service - Gen-Maj Eddy Testelmans, Head Military Intelligence and Security Service

10h00: Situation USA - James Richberg, Deputy of National Intelligence Service for Cyber Management, USA
Press release 15/11/2012: Panetta 'Disappointed' as Cyber Legislation Stalls

10h25: Elements of the Belgian cyberdefence (military) - Lt-Kol De Bruycker, Infosec, Military Intelligence and Security Service
Ppt presentation

10h45: Coffee break

11h10: Cyberthreats – Criminality (civil) - Luc Beirens, Head Commissioner Federal Police, Federal Computer Crime Unit
Ppt presentation

11h35: Role of the State Security Service - Alain Winants, Head of the State Security Service
Ppt presentation

12h00: Conclusions - Patrick Leroy, Head Analysis, Military Intelligence and Security Service & Robin Libert, Director Analysis, State Security Service

12h10: Lunch

13h30: Opening of the afternoon session / introduction- Mr Christian Gossiaux, Secretary-general Legal support and mediation, Ministry of Defence
Ppt presentation

13h35: Reporting on the morning session and questions - Prof. Dr. André Lemaitre, University of Liège, Center for criminology

14h05: Cyberwar : Ius ad bellum- Frank Franceus, Commissioner-auditor, Standing Committee for the Oversight of Intelligence Services
Ppt presentation

14h30: Cyberwar : Ius in bello - Mr Stéphane Kolanowski International Red Cross Genève
Ppt presentation

14h55: Coffee break

15h15: NATO : cyberdefence - Lt-Col Jan Stinissen, Nl. Army, & Scientist/Senior Analist, NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence | Tallinn, Estonia
Ppt presentation

15h40: Perspectives for a Belgian cyberpolicy - Pascal Petry, Security Advisor, Cabinet of the Prime Minister

16h05: Questions and conclusions - Mr Christian Gossiaux, Secretary-general, Legal support and mediation, Ministry of Defence


Seminar: "Governments and economic intelligence policies in Belgium"

02/05/2012, Royal Military School, Brussels


Seminar: "Ethics and intelligence: oxymoron?"

Seminar organised by the  Belgian Intelligence Studies Centre and the “Royal Higher Insitute for Defense” (KHID).

01/12/2011, Auditorium of the Royal Military School, Brussels


Seminar: "Intelligence and security studies: history and future"

01/03/2011, Hall « Luc - Marc » - Belgian State Security Service, North Gate I, Koning Albert II-laan 6, 1000 Brussels