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Mysteries Surrounding AIVD Unravelled in New Podcast 'Dossier AIVD'

Dossier AIVD: that is the name of a new podcast launched by Assistant Professor Constant Hijzen (Intelligence Studies) together with research journalist Wil van der Schans on Tuesday 29 October. Five questions about the NPO Radio 1 podcast produced by Dutch broadcasting cooperation KRO-NCRV.

Why did you decide to make a podcast together?

'Wil is a research journalist and had already been looking into the way intelligence service operate for some time. I also have a lot of involvement because of my own research. We both know a lot of people who work there or have worked there and that's how the idea to join forces and make a podcast came into being. Wil from a journalist’s perspective and me to shine a light on the scientific side of things. We want to show what happens behind the scenes at our Intelligence and Security Services. But we also want to answer the question where this - all things considered - is actually leading to. Why is this work necessary?' 

Who should listen to this the podcast?

‘Everyone. Everyone who's interested in what actually goes on there. It's a secretive world that many people are curious about. Isn't it nice to be taken by the hand and be able to enter this world when normally the doors would remain closed?'

Have all those doors opened for you?

'Most people were eager to cooperate. Every now and then, it took a little longer because we had to submit an official request, but we received a lot of cooperation from everybody. Obviously, some interviewees weren't able to say everything because of state secrets, but honestly speaking, I was surprised by what people told us.'

Have your expectations come true?

'And than some. Because we really took the time to talk to people it provided a certain calm. The podcast is very accessible, which allowed our conversation partners the chance to really explain what their work is all about. We noticed that they were pleased with that and it also enabled us to dig a little deeper. That has certainly benefited the podcast.'

In a teaser on the website you are also talking about the mysteries of the AIVD. How do you explain why people are fascinated by the service?

'It's all about the secrecy that surrounds it. But at the same time that's what makes it so interesting when you're talking to people who work there. They say that everybody immediately thinks of James Bond-like scenes but for a great many people who are employed there it's more a kind of information factory. Sitting behind your desk, gathering information. Obviously, you're always working a secret job that actually has to do with something, namely national security and that's what makes it mysterious.'

From Thursday 29 October the Podcast Dossier AIVD will be available (in Dutch) from your favourite podcast app or via this link 

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