German Chancellor Angela Merkel has turned to British spies for advice on dealing with her country’s escalating Islamist terror problem, infuriating her own intelligence services.
According to news magazine Focus, Mrs. Merkel met the heads of British agencies MI5, MI6, and GCHQ on a visit to Britain 18 months ago in a meeting arranged by then Prime Minister David Cameron.
She reportedly handed British authorities a report from her own BND agency on Russian President Vladimir Putin and the situation in Crimea as thanks for the meeting.
German intelligence services official “knew nothing” of the visit, provoking fury among Mrs. Merkel’s own spies.
“In 12 years she has not once attended one of the weekly security briefings for her government,” one official told the magazine.
“Why does she travel to England then? Does she not trust her own people anymore?”
The German agencies only learnt of her visit in later talks with British colleagues, who were surprised they had not been told.
In February, German intelligence warned of a massive increase in the number of Islamists in the country over the past four years. Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), said the number was rising on a monthly basis.
“We receive between two and four credible tips on planned terrorist activity in Germany each day,” he said, adding: “We have to recognise that we are living in a different situation now than was normal.”
The number is believed to have risen from around 100 in 2013 to over 1,600 currently.
“We receive between two and four credible tips on planned terrorist activity in Germany each day,” Mr. Maassen said. “We have to recognise that we are living in a different situation now than was normal.”