Why should you work as a spy

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Entry in the 90s

Source: istock.com/dongseon_kim

“Shortly after the fall of the Iron Curtain, in the early 1990s, I was hired in the senior service and initially worked for four years in an evaluating department. As an analyst you ask yourself again and again how the information you get comes about. That piqued my curiosity.

My second use should therefore be an operational activity. Every prospective surgeon first goes through an intensive training phase. Within several months I was prepared for the operative work.

Since I was supposed to be in the HUMINT area after my training, i.e. it was obviously about managing human sources, a special focus was placed on this.

School of spies

During my apprenticeship I actually had the feeling that I was living in a spy novel: We learned how to chase people and shake off persecutors.

Sebastian, surgeon at the BND:

It was also about how to convince potential sources to cooperate and to ensure that communication with the sources is absolutely secure - after all, there is always the risk that our sources abroad will be arrested for betrayal of secrets.

A little less exciting, but of course just as important, was the theory - from the legal basis to the official documentation requirements - that accompanies every operational act.

In practice

I was then able to apply and deepen this and much more in practice. I then worked as a surgeon for a total of 20 years, during which time I assumed ten different identities and acquired and managed a large number of sources myself.

Source: bnd.de

Very few colleagues have been doing this for so long, but for me it was the perfect job and undoubtedly the most interesting and demanding time of my professional life. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to talk outside the box and reveal details about the individual operations. On the one hand, my former sources are still alive and, on the other, we have to treat our operational approaches confidentially - after all, that is our most important know-how.

Most of all, I enjoyed the independence working in small teams. I also saw a lot of the world, of course, and it was often the thrill that I liked.

James Bond and me

But anyone who thinks of James Bond is completely wrong: As a BND surgeon, you need above all a sense of responsibility. Our top priority is the safety of our sources. Devastating half a city, as you can see in the first few minutes of "James Bond - Specter", is a bit clumsy from an intelligence point of view - to put it mildly. The BND also has no executive powers and certainly not a “license to kill”.

I can only advise every young colleague to get an idea of ​​operational practice as early as possible. It's still exciting enough even without explosions! "

Sebastian W. (57)