Germany summons US ambassador following arrest of CIA spy

BND headquarters in BerlinBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS |
Authorities in Germany have summoned the American ambassador to Berlin following the arrest of a German intelligence officer who was apprehended last week on suspicion of spying for the United States. The man, who has not been named, is suspected of passing classified government information to American intelligence operatives on a variety of subjects. His most recent undertakings are said to have targeted activities of a German parliamentary committee investigating US espionage against Germany. The episode is expected to further strain relations between the two allies, which were damaged by revelations last year that the National Security Agency, America’s signals intelligence organization, had bugged the telephone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The revelation, which was made public by Edward Snowden, an American defector to Russia who had previously worked for the NSA, showed that Chancellor Merkel had been targeted as part of a wider US spy operation against Germany. The revelations sparked the establishment of a nine-member parliamentary committee that is tasked with evaluating Snowden’s revelations and proposing Germany’s response. It appears that the man arrested, who is believed to have been secretly employed by the Central Intelligence Agency, tried to spy on the activities of the committee on behalf of his American handlers. According to German media reports, the man, who is said to be 31 years old, is a “low-level clerk” at the Bundesnachrichtendienst, or BND, Germany’s external intelligence agency. According to Der Spiegel newsmagazine, he is believed to have spied for the CIA for approximately two years, and to have supplied the American spy agency with around 200 classified German government documents in exchange for around €25,000 —approximately $30,000. The office of Germany’s Federal Prosecution Service confirmed media reports of the BND employee’s arrest, but refused to give further information at this time. Steffen Seibert a spokesman for the office of the German Chancellor, said Mrs. Merkel and the German parliament were aware of the arrest and added it was “clear the matter is serious”. The White House had made no comment on the matter as of Sunday night.

3 Responses to Germany summons US ambassador following arrest of CIA spy

  1. AlbertE. says:

    In furtherance of NATO mission and by treaty the British and Americans have the right to conduct espionage operations in Germany. That is my understanding.

  2. intelNews says:

    @AlbertE.: Your understanding is incorrect. Under the so-called “no-spy agreement”, Germany has pledged not to conduct counterespionage operations against France, the UK and the USA. But this does not give these countries a blank check to spy in the country. The assumption is that they will not, and if they do they will spy on third countries, not on Germany. Incidentally, there are reports today that Germany is about to scrap this agreement in response to the revelations about CIA spying. [IA]

  3. The fact is that Germany bears a major responsibility for two world wars. One of the pillars of transatlantic friendship is in addition to respect and loyalty therefore mistrust – because the experience of the Allies with German policy during the past hundred years entitled to it. And intelligence agents are handy to scrutinize this distrust elegant, without leading to misunderstandings.
    By the way: How could a BND agent reacts when a CIA employee had offered documents for common policy it? Had he officially the U.S. partner about this “leak” information? Not if he was a real intelligence man.

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