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01/02/2023 | Germany arrests alleged collaborator of intelligence officer who spied for Russia

Joseph Fitsanakis

THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCED last week the arrest of a man believed to have acted as a courier between Russian intelligence and another German spy, who was arrested in December and is awaiting trial. The new arrest is bound to attract even more international attention to this unfolding case of espionage, whose urgency has reportedly alarmed Western intelligence services.

 

On December 22, German authorities arrested a senior German intelligence official, who has been charged with treason and remains in custody. The official, named only as “Carsten L.”, in compliance with Germany’s strict privacy laws, worked in the signals intelligence (SIGINT) wing of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND). As Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the BND is tasked with collecting intelligence on foreign targets, a mission that makes it broadly equivalent to the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

As intelNews reported earlier this month, Carsten L.’s seniority within the BND allowed him to access several compartmentalized areas of information, including secrets shared with the BND by other Western intelligence agencies. For this reason, it was reported that some Western intelligence officials were “most incensed” with this case. One source reported that British intelligence leaders were “considering whether they will continue to provide the BND with their most sensitive information”.

Now a second arrest has come to arguably add to the gravity of this case. On January 22, the German Federal Criminal Police Office announced the arrest of “Arthur E.”, who was captured at the Munich International Airport. Apparently, Arthur E. is a German citizen who has German-Russian background. According to the press release issued by the German government, Arthur E. was arrested through a collaborative effort between the BND and the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Apparently, the FBI became suspicious when Arthur E. attempted to frantically leave the United States after Carsten L.’s arrest.

Unlike his alleged accomplice, Arthur E. is not an employee of the BND. He reportedly deals in precious stones and metals. Precisely how he came to know Carsten L. —allegedly in 2020— remains unknown. He is accused, however, of acting as a courier between his alleged accomplice and “a Russian intelligence agency”. According to the German government, Arthur E. received classified information from Carsten L. and then physically traveled to Russia, where he “transmitted the information” to Russian intelligence. He has been charged with treason and is being held in pre-trial detention. Sources claim he is keenly collaborating with German authorities.

Intelnews.org (Estados Unidos)

 



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