German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has revealed that an Egyptian spy worked in the offices of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert for years, possibly collecting information on Egyptian opposition groups.
The man’s activities were revealed by intelligence officials. He man was relieved of his duties in the Federal Press Office and placed under investigation for espionage in December of 2019 by the Federal Criminal Police Office.
The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) has stated that at least two branches of the Egyptian secret service have a presence in Germany, the GIS international security agency and the NSS domestic security agency, tabloid Bild reports.
According to the newspaper, the Egyptian spies mostly gather information on Egyptian opposition groups in Germany, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, but also on other groups such as Coptic Christians.
So far, little has been revealed of what the suspect in the case may have provided to Egypt, but Bild notes that he would have had access to information regarding Egyptian nationals accredited by the Federal Press Office.
Russiagate 2.0? Angela Merkel Claims to Have ‘Hard Evidence’ That Russia Hacked Her Emails https://t.co/7vzubooreY
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 14, 2020
Germany has had several problems with spying in recent years, most notably spies from Turkey. In 2016, it was reported that Turkey had as many as 6,000 operatives in Germany and many other in neighbouring Austria as well.
Later that year a Turkish spy was arrested in Hamburg by the German Federal Police and accused of plotting to assassinate several Kurdish and other opposition figures in Germany and Belgium.
Just months later, Germany raided the apartments of four Muslim imams who were also believed to be actively spying for the Turkish government.
German prosecutors subsequently launched a probe into the activities of Turkish spies after claims that followers of exiled preacher Fethullah Gulen were being monitored. The government of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed Gulen and his supporters for a failed coup against his Islamist regime in the summer of 2016.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 1, 2016
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