German double agent passed Ukraine intelligence to Russia, had access to NSA info

Russia Ukraine War
Ukrainian soldiers watch a drone feed from an underground command center in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Libkos) Libkos/AP

German double agent passed Ukraine intelligence to Russia, had access to NSA info

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A German agent who works for the country’s foreign intelligence service is accused of accessing secret information about the Ukraine war and transmitting it to Russian officials.

German officials are investigating whether the agent was blackmailed into committing treason.

The accused double agent, who was only identified as Carsten L, was reportedly a senior surveillance official in the Federal Intelligence Service and was tasked with analyzing information received through wiretaps. As part of this position, the agent had access to wiretap operations run by other Western countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States.

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“The accused is suspected of state treason,” prosecutors said. “In 2022, he transmitted information that he had obtained in the course of his professional activities to Russian intelligence services.”

The agent is accused of obtaining information about the war in Ukraine from Britain’s GCHQ spy agency and the U.S. National Security Agency and passing the materials along to Russian forces, according to local news outlets. Carsten L was arrested on charges of suspected treason last week and is currently being held in custody.

It’s not clear the motive behind transferring the information, but German officials are investigating whether the agent was blackmailed into doing so, according to German broadcaster Tagesschau. An instance of blackmail would mark a significant effort by the Russian government to undermine Western intelligence.

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The incident comes after a German man was arrested last month for allegedly passing information to Russian intelligence while working as a reserve officer. German officials have conducted several investigations into possible Russian espionage since the onset of the Ukraine war and have issued warnings that the Kremlin may step up its efforts to infiltrate Western intelligence circles.

“With Russia, we are dealing with an actor where we must reckon with its ruthlessness and willingness to be violent,” said Bruno Kahl, head of the BND intelligence agency.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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