Germans search properties in second spy case reportedly involving U.S.

German authorities are investigating a second spy case reportedly involving the United States, a week after the arrest of a German intelligence employee cast a new shadow over relations between the two countries. Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that police raided properties in the Berlin area on “initial suspicion of activity for an intelligence agency.” They did not elaborate or specify what intelligence agency was involved, but said they had not made an arrest.

We have investigations in two cases of suspected espionage, a very serious suspicion.

Steffen Seibert, German government spokesman

The daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported, without naming sources, that the man being investigated worked at Germany’s Defence Ministry and is suspected of spying for the U.S. News website Spiegel Online reported, also without naming sources, that the man worked in a department dealing with international security policy and had aroused the suspicion of Germany’s military counterintelligence agency because of his close contacts to alleged U.S. spies. Defence Ministry spokesman Lt. Col. Uwe Roth declined to confirm the reports, but said the case fell “into the ministry’s area of responsibility” and that Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen had been informed.

BND staff have always talked freely with their American counterparts, but to place a mole in a friendly agency, that’s a new dimension … The German intelligence community is up in arms.

Erich Schmidt-Eenboom, expert on Germany’s intelligence agencies