The German authorities hope that they were able to deliver a “serious blow to Russian espionage.” This was stated by German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann, commenting on the arrest of an agent of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) Carsten L., suspected of collaborating with Russia. The double agent faces a prison term of up to life. The BND believes that against the backdrop of the conflict over Ukraine, the “hour of spies” has come. In the Russian Federation, however, they also warn about the strengthening of foreign intelligence activities.
German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann congratulated the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office on the arrest of the “alleged spy”. “If the suspicions are confirmed, then we have managed to deal a serious blow to Russian espionage. This shows how vigilant we need to be,” he tweeted.
Earlier it became known that BND agent Carsten L. was detained on suspicion of collaborating with Russian special services. The country’s Prosecutor General’s Office announced his arrest and interrogation, and the Federal Intelligence Service of Germany also made a separate statement. However, there are very few details.
Contrary to common practice, the public was not told anything – neither the name of the detainee, nor his age, nor the duration of work on both sides.
“Restraint and discretion are very important in this particular case. Russia is an opponent whose unscrupulousness and readiness for violence we must reckon with,” explained the lack of public information, the head of the BND Bruno Kahl. “Every detail of this case, if it becomes public, can give the enemy an advantage and allow him to harm Germany.”
It is only known that Karsten L. was detained on Wednesday by employees of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany, and searches were carried out in two of his apartments and at his workplace.
The citizen of Germany allegedly passed on information held by the BND to the Russian special services up to his arrest, however, apparently, he was followed for some time. How long is unclear.
Bruno Kahl was vague about this: “Having received information about a possible case of high treason in its ranks, the BND immediately launched a large-scale internal investigation. When the suspicions were confirmed, the Prosecutor General’s Office was immediately involved.”
Under the article on treason, the detainee faces a prison term – from five years to life imprisonment, depending on the damage caused to the national security of Germany. Double agents in Germany have not been identified for a long time.
Former head of the BND Gerhard Schindler in a radio interview Bavarian radio called the current time “the hour of spies”, noting that against the backdrop of the conflict over Ukraine, Russian special services have stepped up their activities in Western countries. The current deputy head of the department, Wolfgang Wien, previously reported on the increasing attempts by Russian “hackers in uniform” to penetrate the computer networks of the German government.
Commenting on the arrest of Carsten L., the head of the Bundestag Defense Committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (representing the Free Democratic Party of Germany), said on Bayerischer Rundfunk: us to destabilize our system, the Federal Republic of Germany.”
The deputy of the Bundestag from the party “Left” Andre Hahn, in turn, in an interview with the newspaper Rheinische Post said: he is not surprised that Russia is conducting intelligence activities in Germany. “But if indeed, within the Federal Intelligence Service itself, one of the employees worked for Russia, this would be a completely new and frightening circumstance,” the politician added. According to him, the parliament intends to take this matter under control and consider it in the coming year.
Meanwhile, the Russian authorities have also recently been talking about increased activity of foreign intelligence services.
AT video message On the occasion of the Day of Security Workers, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that “counterintelligence agencies, including the military” are now required “maximum concentration and concentration of forces.” “It is necessary to severely suppress the actions of foreign intelligence services, quickly identify traitors, spies and saboteurs,” he urged.