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German official detained on suspicion of spying for Russia: report

23.12.2022 14:00
An official with Germany’s foreign intelligence agency (BND) has been detained on suspicion of passing state secrets to Russia, news outlets have reported.
An official with Germanys foreign intelligence agency (BND) has been detained on suspicion of passing state secrets to Russia, according to news reports.
An official with Germany’s foreign intelligence agency (BND) has been detained on suspicion of passing state secrets to Russia, according to news reports.Carlo von Reyher, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The man is suspected of having disclosed information obtained at work to a Russian security agency, the dw.com/pl website reported on Friday, citing Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) newspaper.  

The suspect, a German citizen identified as Carsten L., was detained on Wednesday and brought before the investigating judge at Germany’s top court, the Federal Tribunal, on Thursday, dw.com/pl reported. 

In an opinion piece about the case, FAZ’s Berthold Kohler wrote, as quoted by dw.com/pl website: “The scale of treason committed by the arrested BND official is not yet clear. He is suspected of having let himself be recruited by Moscow’s security services."

Kohler added, as cited by dw.com/pl: “This case shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Intelligence agencies seek not only to learn what the opponent knows, but also to deceive them. In the age of satellite reconnaissance and cyberattacks, personal information sources are still irreplaceable.”

‘Russia has become a security service state’

Kohler noted in his piece that Russian President Vladimir Putin is himself a former KGB operative who has appointed fellow security service veterans to key state and business positions, dw.com/pl reported.

“Russia has become a security service state,” Kohler wrote, as quoted by dw.com/pl. 

He claimed that Putin fears that his war in Ukraine will end in failure, due to Western support for Kyiv, and so the Russian leader is trying to weaken the West through non-military means, such as infiltration of political, business and social circles, disinformation and cyberattacks, dw.com/pl reported.

“The unmasking of a suspected double agent demonstrates to the general public that Moscow is waging a secret war far from the frontlines in Ukraine," Kohler said, according to dw.com/pl.

He concluded: “For this reason, Germany would do well to heed the NATO maxim that 'vigilance is the price of liberty,'" dw.com/pl reported.

‘Significant blow to Russian espionage

Meanwhile, Germany’s Justice Minister Marco Buschmann said in a tweet after the detention of Carsten L.: “If the suspicions are confirmed, it will mean we have dealt a significant blow to Russian espionage. This shows how vigilant we must be."

Germany’s security services have not disclosed any details about the suspect’s activities, news outlets reported. 

BND chief Bruno Kahl said, as quoted by dw.com/pl: "In this case, it is especially important to exercise caution and maintain secrecy."

Thomas Haldenwang, a senior German security official, was quoted by the media as saying last summer that “the scale of anti-German surveillance has reached Cold War-era levels at least, and may be much higher,” dw.com/pl reported. 

Friday is day 303 of Russia’s war in Ukraine. 


Source: dw.com/pl, dw.com/en, CNN, euronews.com