Second Person Under Investigation for Spying in Germany

Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 11:37 AM

By Jennifer G. Hickey

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One week after German federal prosecutors disclosed that a 31-year-old German had been arrested on suspicions of spying for the United States, a second individual is now under investigation by authorities on similar charges of espionage, according to news reports.

The second investigation is considered to be "more serious" than the first and involves an individual in the "military field," but no arrest has been made, according to The Guardian.

The arrest made last week involved an employee of Germany's BND foreign intelligence agency, who has confessed to passing information about an ongoing investigation by the German government into revelations made in 2013 by former CIA contractor Edward Snowden that the United States was carrying out surveillance on Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone calls.

The CIA has declined to comment, but officials familiar with the case claim the agency was involved in recruiting the double agent.

It also has been reported that President Barack Obama was left in the dark about the arrest, as well as the CIA's involvement.

Merkel publicly expressed her concern and displeasure with the new allegations. However, she did not raise the issue during a phone call with Obama on July 3 despite being aware of the first arrest. According to The New York Times, Obama had no knowledge of the arrest and no one in the administration was aware that a CIA operative had been compromised.

Responding to the initial arrest last week, the chancellor's spokesman Steffen Seibert said: "We don't take the matter of spying for foreign intelligence agencies lightly."

The White House and State Department also have declined to comment on the matter, but German government officials are openly calling for "quick and clear comments" from the United States about the allegations.

While she was not asked to comment on the latest revelations, in an interview with the German newspaper Der Spiegel, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said "the surveillance on Chancellor Merkel's phone was absolutely wrong."


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