NSB confirms threats to presidential candidates

By Joseph Yeh ,The China Post

Taiwan’s top intelligence chief yesterday confirmed that the National Security Bureau (NSB) has received more than a dozen threats targeting two presidential candidates over the past year, most of them targeting the incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou. NSB Director Tsai Der-sheng (蔡得勝), however, said most of these threats were unlikely to be acted on and do not pose a serious hazard to the security of national leaders and politicians.

“They were mostly disgruntled people expressing anger over the political situation or a personal grudge on the Internet,” he noted. The NSB regularly receives similar intelligence and the situations are all under control, he said. If the preliminary investigation made by the bureau shows no immediate threat to the president or those being protected, Tsai said the NSB will hand the case to the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) for further scrutiny. Tsai made the statement when asked by reporters to comment if there were any threats made to presidential candidates recently in a progressively tightening presidential race. In response, the NSB chief said most of those who claimed to pose threat to politicians by posting online are expressing anger or dissatisfaction over unsettled lawsuits. Some others are mentally challenged people. When asked by reporters whether it is Ma or Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (not related with the NSB’s Tsai) that are receiving more threats, Tsai’s answer pointed to the incumbent president. Tsai made the comments before he attended a legislative session yesterday morning.

Establishment of the National Intelligence Officer The NSB’s Tsai also said the NSB will expand its overseas operation capability if an amendment to the Organic Act for National Security Bureau (國家安全局組織法) ultimately passes the legislature. Currently the NSB has three general-ranking intelligence agents stationed overseas. Once passed, the amendment will give the bureau a legal basis in establishing a new position of “national intelligence officer,” Tsai said. The new position is to be created following the National Intelligence Officer system of the United States government’s Central Intelligence Agency, he noted. The national intelligence officer will be stationed overseas, while one of the three special agents abroad will be transferred back to Taiwan, Tsai said. Tsai said the reason for creating the new post is to offer a better promotion opportunity to local secret service agents. Currently many agents are forced to leave the national security system because of the lack of a sound promotion system, he said, adding that the new position could amend the loophole.