Berlin “on its guard” after the discovery of a double agent working for Russia
The discovery of a possible double agent working on behalf of Russia within the German intelligence service was considered very worrying by the German vice chancellor on Friday, while other elected officials worried that this agent could have had access to information from allied services.
On Thursday, December 22, the federal prosecutor’s office in Karlsruhe had announced the arrest the day before, in Berlin, of Carsten L., an agent of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), suspected of passing sensitive information to Moscow. Citing information from security service sources in Berlin, media outlet Focus Online said on Friday that the double agent discovered was a top-secret technical intelligence officer from the BND abroad.
As part of these functions, he had access to all information from the secret services of the BND’s Western partners, this German online media claims. This could relate to information from wiretapping by other secret services, including the US NSA and Britain’s GCHQ. The double agent has “provided information gathered in the course of his work to a Russian intelligence service in 2022”assured the prosecution.
To questions from the German television channels RTL and NTV, the Minister of Economy and the German Vice Chancellor, Robert Habeck, qualified this affair as “particularly worrying”while the Russian military offensive in Ukraine, which began on February 24, continues.
Justice Minister Marco Buschmann tweeted that the case showed “how much you had to be on guard”. The vice-president of the liberal FDP party – one of the three parties in the German government coalition – Wolfgang Kubicki, meanwhile, expressed his concern about the negative consequences this case could have on the cooperation between the BND and the intelligence services. partners.
“If information from the BND could really reach Russia, it will make our cooperation with our partners much more difficult”Mr Kubicki told the German daily Handelsblatt.