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CIA had role in Germany spy affair


BY MARK HOSENBALL

(Reuters) - The Central Intelligence Agency was involved in a spying operation against Germany that led to the alleged recruitment of a German intelligence official and has prompted renewed outrage in Berlin, two U.S. officials familiar with the matter said on Monday.

CIA Director John Brennan has asked to brief key members of the U.S. Congress on the matter, which threatens a new rupture between Washington and a close European ally, one of the officials said.

It was unclear if and when Brennan's briefing to U.S. lawmakers would take place. The CIA declined any comment on the matter.

The office of Germany's Federal Prosecutor, based in the western city of Karlsruhe, late last week issued a statement saying that a 31-year old man had been arrested on suspicion of being a foreign spy, and that investigations were continuing. The statement offered no further details.

German politicians have said that the suspect, an employee of the country's foreign intelligence service, admitted passing to an American contact details concerning a German parliamentary committee's investigation of alleged U.S. eavesdropping disclosed by Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency.

The U.S. officials who confirmed the CIA's role spoke on condition of anonymity, and offered no further details.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest declined comment on the dispute.

"The relationship that the United States has with Germany is incredibly important. This is a very close partnership that we have on a range of security issues, including some intelligence issues," Earnest said. "All of those things are high priorities not just to this administration, but to this country. So we're going to work with the Germans to resolve this situation appropriately."

Snowden's revelations last year, which included evidence that the NSA was targeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel's personal cell phone, frosted U.S.-German relations. The White House agreed to stop targeting Merkel, but rejected Berlin's pleas for a wider "no spy" pact.

The latest case risks further straining ties.

"If the reports are correct it would be a serious case," Merkel told a news conference in Beijing, standing next to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

German media reported that the suspected spy, who has not been named, had first been detained on suspicion of contacting Russian intelligence agents, but then admitted he had worked with the Americans. The suspect worked for Germany's Federal Intelligence Service, known by the German initials BND.

While historically close, U.S. intelligence ties to Germany became strained over the last year in the wake of the Snowden revelations.

Snowden took refuge in Moscow last year after leaking tens of thousands of highly classified U.S. intelligence documents to media organizations.

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Michelle CD July 07 2014 at 3:17 PM

Here we go, another fiasco! This administration has done nothing but made enemies out of our allies, and worse enemies out of our enemies!
Thank you Big O!

Flag Reply +85 rate up
16 replies
keithj77441 July 07 2014 at 3:17 PM

Obama is incapable of leading competency.

Flag Reply +55 rate up
8 replies
j.pr3 July 07 2014 at 3:21 PM

What in the hell is that Squatter in the White House trying to do? As if we don't know!!! Oh, that's right, I forgot, that is another one of those things that His Highness didn't know about. If he is that STUPID what the hell is he doing in that office? Get him OUT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Flag Reply +54 rate up
5 replies
R July 07 2014 at 3:16 PM

Do we really have to make public everything that we do. What the hell are you doing! Shut your mouth. If it's Obama's idea to make it public, Impeach the Dictator NOW.

Flag Reply +48 rate up
14 replies
depends.on.the.meaning.of.is July 07 2014 at 4:08 PM

Now what slimy underhanded
and illegal trick
is Barack Hussein Obama up to..?

Flag Reply +47 rate up
2 replies
John depends.on.the.meaning.of.is July 07 2014 at 4:23 PM

Same old, same old. Just the destruction of the United States of America like his Communist Mother taught him.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
mturksma John July 07 2014 at 6:18 PM

I think that started under Bush and his friends take all the money give it to the one percent let wall street run wild while Chaney made billions on the Iraq war with his company Haliburton. WMD. HAHAHA

Flag 0 rate up
weilunion depends.on.the.meaning.of.is July 07 2014 at 7:31 PM

Another brain dead American tagged. This is not about Obama, it is what Eisenhower called: The military industrial complex and what he warned us. Eisenhower is not a charachter on TV. Look it up.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
smashingmonkey July 07 2014 at 3:15 PM

As a nation, we are kind of out-of-control. It is time to rethink our approach to the so-called war on terror. Mostly, it has grown enemies and angered friends.

Flag Reply +37 rate up
9 replies
R July 07 2014 at 3:35 PM

Way to go, Barry. P!$$ off our allies. Please resign...please. For once...try and be a man.

Flag Reply +36 rate up
6 replies
bottomtime321 July 07 2014 at 3:19 PM

How is this Obama's fault, he finds out about everything in the News paper, just like we do.

He too just learned about it. And he'll get to the Bottom of it.
The American people can count on him.

Flag Reply +32 rate up
35 replies
danbfas July 07 2014 at 3:29 PM

"While historically close, U.S. intelligence ties to Germany became strained over the last year in the wake of the Snowden revelations." No, they've become more strained over the Obama administrations spying on Germany. If they weren't, Snowden's "revelations" would be immaterial.

Flag Reply +30 rate up
1 reply
bookbuyer1 danbfas July 08 2014 at 2:13 AM

but they are smart + careful when they do spy. THEY DON'T GET CAUGHT!!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Hello Beautiful July 07 2014 at 7:45 PM

FACT: Obama did NOT have the qualifications for the job of POTUS, ever. FACT: Obama's friends and mentors were UNSAVORY people, i.e. terrorist, bigots, socialist, Marxist. YET, he was elected TWICE. Had to be the color of his skin, not the content of his character. That means the majority of voters are S T U P I D and don't care. Thanks a lot, libs.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
1 reply
jaguara777 Hello Beautiful July 07 2014 at 11:59 PM

Non-sensical paragraph.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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