A man identified by media as a German intelligence officer was arrested this past Wednesday (7/2/2014) on charges of leaking information to the U.S.’s National Security Agency (NSA).
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has so far declined comment on the arrest, but her spokesman Steffen Seibert called the issue a serious matter, adding,
“I will have to leave the conclusions to you.”
German media hasn’t been so mute. Though they refuse to release their sources, a number of news outlets have reported that the man works for the German foreign intelligence service BND.
The double agent reportedly told German interrogators that the Americans were particularly interested in information about the German parliamentary inquiry into the activities of the NSA following the revelations that one of the victims of the NSA hacking scandal had been Chancellor Merkel herself.
The popular Bild newspaper reported that the man had been working as a double agent for two years, meeting with American officials at least three times in Austria during that span.
The double agent was reportedly paid $34,000 for hundreds of documents he passed on to the NSA. 218 of these stolen files were found on a thumb drive at the agent’s home.
German media adds that if the allegations are true, this is,
“the biggest scandal involving a German—American double agent since the war.”
So far, the only American response was a short, “no comment” from the National Security Committee’s spokeswoman in Washington.
You would think the NSA would’ve at least tried to be a bit more careful in how they handled such a delicate operation.
It’s hard to ignore the irony of the agency getting caught spying on an investigation that was about them spying in the first place.
Meanwhile, our global image will take yet another hit because of a government agency that has shown a lack of respect for the citizens it’s supposed to protect as well the countries who are supposed to be our allies.
Read the original story from the National Post here.