Closed-door trial of Soviet/Russian sleeper agents starts in Germany

The Anschlags' house in MeckenheimBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | |
A married couple accused of spying on Germany on behalf of the Soviet Union and Russia for over two decades has gone on trial in Stuttgart. Andreas Anschlag, 54, and his wife, Heidrun, 48, were arrested in October 2011 by GSG-9, the elite counter-terrorism and special operations unit of the German Federal Police. They were later charged with having spied since at least 1990 for the Soviet KGB’s First Chief Directorate and its post-Soviet successor organization, the SVR. German federal prosecutors also accuse the couple of document forgery, since their Austrian passports, which they used to enter West Germany from Mexico in 1988 (Andreas) and 1990 (Heidrun) are believed to be counterfeit. There is also speculation that the couple’s surname may in fact be an alias given to them by their intelligence handlers. Upon entering West Germany in 1988 and 1990, the Anschlags initially settled in Aachen, on the German-Belgian border, before moving to Meckenheim, a small town with a population of less than 30,000 located a few miles southwest of Bonn. They concentrated on blending into German society, while raising their son daughter and leading what their neighbors describe as a “discreet life”. Over the years, they managed to recruit a number of informants, including a Dutch diplomat identified by authorities in Holland only as ‘Raymond P’. The diplomat, who was arrested last June, is believed to have given the Anschlags nearly 500 classified documents originating from the German armed forces, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union. Read more of this post

German authorities arrest two on espionage charges

German federal authorities have announced the arrest of two men, one German and one Macedonian, who passed German classified information to the governments of Kosovo and Macedonia. Anton Robert K., 42, and Murat A., 28, were arrested in the German city of Stuttgart last Tuesday. Germany’s Federal Prosecution office alleges that German citizen “Anton Robert K.” regularly supplied “Murat A.” with sensitive German government documents during 2007 and 2008, while he served in Germany’s diplomatic mission in the Kosovar capital Pristina. “Murat A.” then allegedly gave the documents to organized crime syndicates as well as “state actors” in Kosovo and Macedonia. The Macedonian is alleged to have “intelligence ties” with both countries, but no other information about him has yet emerged. Read more of this post

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