William Molinié 06h17, December 22, 2022

The discreet intelligence service of the French armies has agreed to open its doors to Europe 1. Throughout the week, we take you to the air base 110 of Senlis-Creil in Oise, to the HQ of the expert centers of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DRM).

Magnifying glass and soldering iron in hand, the cyber experts of the Military Intelligence Directorate (DRM) are trying to revive the digital material of the jihadists seized in the theaters of operations.

“We have three different examples of phones from which we managed to extract data: one that burned following the explosion of a bomb, another that took a bullet and a last that is almost broken in two” , tells the microphone of Europe 1 Commander Henri.

These digital antiquities, looking like ancestral Nokia 33-10s, are full of valuable information.

These unusable phones are taken apart, re-soldered and reassembled so that they reveal their secrets: videos, images, contact directory, geolocation data...

Follow other leads

So much valuable information that will allow Sophia, a cyber analyst, civilian defense worker who has been working for the DRM for five years, to bring the telephone back to life.

Sometimes the identity is not known, but the exploitation of the data will make it possible to go back to other tracks.

"We are going to make a digital environment. Namely the personal entourage, try to go back to other people in the same network to better understand how it works," she explains.

With one imperative: discretion.

“We try to find traces of connection, traces of digital life while leaving no trace on our part,” she continues.

hunter instinct

While the spotlight is currently on Ukraine, the French armies continue to be engaged in the Sahel, particularly in Niger and Chad.

A total of 2,500 soldiers are still present there and engaged daily in support missions to local armies against armed terrorist groups.



- INFO EUROPE 1 – The widow of cyber-jihadist Romain Letellier repatriated to France

One thing leading to another, certain investigations by the DRM made it possible to produce top-notch intelligence, such as the location of a jihadist leader in the desert dunes.

What happened to this information?

Was the jihadist captured or neutralized by a drone or by special forces?

We will know nothing about it, secret-defense obliges.

Find all the episodes of our series 

  • Europe 1 at the heart of military intelligence episode 1: “Thinning the fog of war” in Ukraine

  • Europe 1 at the heart of military intelligence episode 2: the war in Ukraine can be heard from the Senlis-Creil base

  • Europe 1 at the heart of military intelligence episode 3: monitoring the war from space