Germany asked a U.S. intelligence official based at the American embassy to leave the country over allegations of Americans spying on Germany, officials announced on Wednesday. According to Reuters, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said that "the request was made in light of the ongoing investigation by the chief federal prosecutor and questions that have been raised for months about the activities of U.S. intelligence services in Germany."
Over the past week or so, German prosecutors have investigated what are apparently two separate cases of suspected American spying on German government activities. Last week, as the Guardian reported quoting German media, an employee of Germany's intelligence agency confessed to passing along hundreds of confidential files to a CIA contact. And days ago, reports emerged that German officials were investigating a German Defense employee who allegedly established contact with individuals believed to be working for U.S. intelligence services. As the New York Times makes clear, German prosecutors suspect that both alleged spies were recruited by U.S. intelligence officials. Police arrested the German intelligence official who confessed last week; there's no arrest yet in the second alleged spy case.
Although Germany is still investigating, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that if the allegations are true, "it would be a serious case." She added, according to CNN, that "it would be for me a clear contradiction to what I consider to be a trustful cooperation between agencies and partners." The new allegations don't exactly come at the best time for U.S.-German relations: earlier, documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the U.S. spied on Merkel's phone calls for more than a decade.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.