News / Europe

Germany Summons US Ambassador on New Spy Allegations

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Germany summoned the U.S. ambassador Friday over allegations that a suspect arrested this week spied for the United States.

The Foreign Ministry says it asked Ambassador John B. Emerson to help with what it calls the "swift clarification" of the case.

The German Federal Prosecutor's office said in a statement that a 31-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of being a foreign spy, but it gave no further details.

German authorities say a man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of spying for foreign intelligence services.

They did not identify the suspect or for which governments he spied.

But German newspapers say he worked for German intelligence and passed information to the U.S. on a parliamentary committee investigating U.S. intelligence activities in Germany.

German and U.S. officials have not commented on the reports, but Chancellor Angela Merkel has been informed about the arrest.

Germany has been suspicious about U.S. intelligence activity since documents leaked by former U.S. contractor Edward Snowden showed the U.S. spied on German citizens and listened in on Merkel's cellphone.

Cahrges of passing information

The man has admitted passing to an American contact details about a special German parliamentary committee set up to investigate the spying revelations made by Snowden, politicians said.

“This was a man who had no direct contact with the investigative committee ... He was not a top agent,” said one of the politicians, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The suspect had offered his services to the United States voluntarily, the source said. The United States embassy in Berlin declined to comment.

Germany is particularly sensitive about surveillance because of abuses by the East German Stasi secret police and the Nazis. Berlin has demanded that Washington agree to a “no-spy” with its close ally, but the United States has been unwilling.

Bild newspaper said in an advance copy of an article to be published on Saturday that the man had worked for two years as a double agent and had stolen 218 confidential documents.

He sold the documents, three of which related to the work of the committee in the Bundestag, for 25,000 euros ($34,100), Bild said, citing security sources.

Some information for this report was supplied by Reuters.



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Comment Sorting
by: Not Again from: Canada
July 04, 2014 5:23 PM
Total hypocrisy, they are after the NSA because of gathering intelligence????? what gives? for over 60+ yrs Germany has benefited from the US intelligence gathering activities and lived under the US defence umbrella, in many cases it saved their butts.
Germany itself probably has extensive intelligence gathering services, that gather intelligence on every one, in a leadership position, especially in Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Americas, and probably so do most of the other EU countries, and probably so do all the other countries capable of doing so.
It is starting to look, to me/I perceive, that attacking the US has become a passtime by the German political elites, especially by the ex- East German communist raised ideologeues...; it is not a good way ahead for allies, even worse when, in my view, Germany is an ally of convinience riding on the back of the US defence/security programs, and setting back US security initiatives, by their foot dragging and these continuous attacks.
Maybe? it is time for the US to stand up and put an end to these continuous verbal abuse/ political profiteering by some of these German elites, that are out of touch with the terrorist threat and the unfortunate current global reality..... It is a well known issue, media, that Jihadis are incubated and leaving from Western nations, including Germany, for Syria and beyond...
In Response

by: Tom from: usa
July 05, 2014 6:03 AM
As much as I want to agree with you, the US does not have a leg to stand on. Snowden released that America was spying directly on Merkel and the EU--egregiously. And consider that this is just a sliver of what Snowden leaked. America finds itself in an unfortunate position of having to eat crow on this. And I don't think Germany would summon the US Ambassador over conjecture, this is embarrassing.

As an American citizen I feel this level of espionage is alarming and I think a global dialogue needs to begin, because obviously America isn't the only nation doing this.

What I hope comes of this is a better understanding and transparency between all nations on cyber espionage. I hope that we global citizens can get 'real' on this enormous problem before our world leaders take it too far and pull us into conflict.

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