A senior German intelligence official has been charged with the arrest of spying for Russia: here’s what we know about the “Carsten L.” case. The article by Giuseppe Gagliano
Western intelligence agencies have been alarmed by the arrest of a senior German intelligence official on charges of spying for Russia, according to a German intelligence expert.
On December 22, the government of Germany has announced the arrest of a senior officer in the Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) wing of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND).
As Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the BND is tasked with gathering intelligence on foreign targets, a mission that makes it broadly equivalent to the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency.
THE “CARSTEN L.” CASE
The official, called only “Carsten L.” under Germany’s strict privacy laws, he was charged with “high treason” and is currently awaiting trial. When announcing his arrest, German officials said they were tipped off by a foreign intelligence agency that it had taken over a document from the BND’s internal archives in the possession of a Russian spy agency.
WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW
The identity of the intelligence agency that provided the tip is among the many details of the case that remain unknown for the time being. Among them are the duration of Carsten L.’s alleged spying for Moscow, as well as his motives.
Some reports suggest that Carsten L. could to have been blackmailed by the Russians following a kompromata dossier containing information that could harm his reputation.
The alleged spy was also reported to have been found in possession of materials relating to the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a far-right party known for its friendly stance towards the Kremlin. But such reports are largely speculative.
No information on Carsten L.’s motives has been released by the German prosecutor’s office. It is clear, however, that at least some of the information provided by Carsten L. to the Russian government relates to the ongoing war in Ukraine.
THE INFORMATION TO WHICH YOU HAD ACCESS
Additionally, the suspect’s seniority within the BND gave him access to several areas of compartmentalized information, including secrets shared with the BND by other Western intelligence agencies. These almost certainly include the Central Intelligence Agency and the US National Security Agency, as well as a number of British intelligence agencies.
THE IRRITATION OF THE UNITED KINGDOM
British newspaper Monday The Telegraph he quoted German intelligence expert, Erich Schmidt-Eenboom, who said British intelligence officials were “very irritated” by the case. He added that British intelligence directors are “considering whether they will continue to supply the BND with their most sensitive information”.
The German expert concluded that the Carsten L. case could have “profound implications for future cooperation between the BND and other Western spy agencies”.
– Read also: All of Sweden’s (spectacular) arrests of Russian spies
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