Why is Germany protecting Iraqi informant who lied about WMDs?
January 13, 2011 1 Comment
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
German politicians in the state of Baden-Württemberg are questioning the protection given by German intelligence services to a notorious Iraqi informant, who lied about Iraq’s weapons program. Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, known in intelligence circles as “Curveball”, arrived in Germany in 1999, where he applied for political asylum, saying he had been employed as a senior scientist in Iraq’s biological weapons program. Despite serious doubts expressed at the time by officials in Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service, the BND, and by some of their CIA colleagues, al-Janabi was given asylum in Germany. Moreover, information gathered from his testimony became a major source of the Bush Administration’s argument in favor of going to war in Iraq in 2003. Less than a year later, both the BND and the CIA concluded that al-Janabi had been lying about his alleged biological weapons role, and that he was in reality a taxi driver from Baghdad, who had used his undergraduate knowledge of engineering to fool Western intelligence. In light of this, it appears strange, to say the least, that al-Janabi was allowed to apply —and eventually receive, in 2008— German citizenship. Even stranger is the fact that he has been financially sustained by the German state for nearly a decade, receiving until 2008 a €3,000 ($4,000) monthly stipend from Thiele und Friedrichs, a BND front company based in Munich. Now regional parliament members from the German Greens are pressuring officials in the Foreign Ministry of Baden-Württemberg to explain why al-Janabi was allowed to stay in Germany, was financially supported by the German state, and was awarded with German nationality, despite lying about his background in his official immigration application. Foreign Ministry officials respond that al-Janabi’s application was “handled” by the BND; but the Green parliamentarians dismiss this explanation and have vowed to press on with their inquiry.