Germany arrests alleged collaborator of intelligence officer who spied for Russia

BND GermanyTHE GERMAN GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCED last week the arrest of a man believed to have acted as a courier between Russian intelligence and another German spy, who was arrested in December and is awaiting trial. The new arrest is bound to attract even more international attention to this unfolding case of espionage, whose urgency has reportedly alarmed Western intelligence services.

On December 22, German authorities arrested a senior German intelligence official, who has been charged with treason and remains in custody. The official, named only as “Carsten L.”, in compliance with Germany’s strict privacy laws, worked in the signals intelligence (SIGINT) wing of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND). As Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the BND is tasked with collecting intelligence on foreign targets, a mission that makes it broadly equivalent to the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

As intelNews reported earlier this month, Carsten L.’s seniority within the BND allowed him to access several compartmentalized areas of information, including secrets shared with the BND by other Western intelligence agencies. For this reason, it was reported that some Western intelligence officials were “most incensed” with this case. One source reported that British intelligence leaders were “considering whether they will continue to provide the BND with their most sensitive information”.

Now a second arrest has come to arguably add to the gravity of this case. On January 22, the German Federal Criminal Police Office announced the arrest of “Arthur E.”, who was captured at the Munich International Airport. Apparently, Arthur E. is a German citizen who has German-Russian background. According to the press release issued by the German government, Arthur E. was arrested through a collaborative effort between the BND and the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Apparently, the FBI became suspicious when Arthur E. attempted to frantically leave the United States after Carsten L.’s arrest. Read more of this post

Western intelligence agencies alarmed by arrest of Russian spy in Germany

BND GermanyWESTERN INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES HAVE been alarmed by the arrest of a senior German intelligence official, who has been charged with spying for Russia, according to an expert in German intelligence. On December 22, the German government announced the arrest of a senior officer in the signals intelligence (SIGINT) wing of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND). As Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the BND is tasked with collecting intelligence on foreign targets, a mission that makes it broadly equivalent to the United States Central Intelligence Agency.

The official, named only as “Carsten L.”, in compliance with Germany’s strict privacy laws, has been charged with “high treason” and is currently awaiting trial. When announcing his arrest, German officials said they were tipped by a foreign intelligence agency that detected a document from the BND’s internal files in the possession of a Russian spy agency. The identity of the intelligence agency that provided the tip is among several important details about the case that remain unknown for the time being. Among them are the duration of Carsten L.’s alleged espionage for Moscow, as well as his motives.

Some reports suggest that Carsten L. may have been blackmailed by the Russians as a result of a kompromat. It has also been reported that the alleged spy was found to be in possession of material relating to the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a far-right party known for its friendly stance toward the Kremlin. But such reports are largely speculative. No information about Carsten L.’s motives has been released by the office of the German prosecutor. It is clear, however, that at least some of the information that Carsten L. gave the Russian government relates to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Additionally, the suspect’s seniority within the BND allowed him to access several compartmentalized areas of information, including secrets shared with the BND by other Western intelligence agencies. These almost certainly include the United States Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency, as well as a host of British intelligence agencies. On Monday, British newspaper The Telegraph quoted German intelligence expert, Erich Schmidt-Eenboom, who said that British intelligence officials were “most incensed” with the case. He added that British intelligence leaders were “considering whether they will continue to provide the BND with their most sensitive information”. The German expert concluded that the Carsten L. case may have “deep implications for future cooperation between the BND and other Western spy agencies”.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 10 January 2023 | Permalink

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