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Thursday 21 August 2014

'German double agent sold secrets to the US'

Justin Huggler

Published 05/07/2014 | 02:30

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a news conference after a meeting with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the chancellery in Berlin, Wednesday, July 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel. AP

An alleged double agent has been arrested in Germany on suspicion of spying for the United States.

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The man, a German, is a member of the country's BND intelligence service, and the case risks straining further the relationship between the two allies.

It was damaged last year after revelations that Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone had been monitored by the US National Security Agency.

Officially, authorities have only confirmed an unnamed 31-year-old was held on Wednesday for alleged spying.

But from details leaked to the German media, the man appears to have been passing classified intelligence documents to the Americans for the last two years, in exchange for tens of thousands of euro.

Classified

The alleged German double agent made the first move, in an email to the US embassy offering classified information in return for cash, according to 'Spiegel' magazine and 'Bild' newspaper.

Since then, he has handed over between 200 and 300 documents, and was paid €25,000, according to 'Bild'.

He was found out when another email was intercepted, in which he offered to sell classified information to the Russians.

Investigators, convinced they had a Russian mole, were astonished when he confessed to selling secrets to the US.

The US response so far has been a terse "no comment" from the spokeswoman for the National Security Committee in Washington. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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