'Double agent' arrested in Germany for passing information on NSA inquiry to the US

The incident has provoked outrage in Germany after the Snowden leaks

An alleged spy has been arrested in Germany accused of passing the US information from a committee looking into NSA activities.

It has heightened diplomatic tensions between the two countries following allegations in the Edward Snowden leaks that the US electronic spy agency tapped Angela Merkel’s phone along with wider surveillance of German citizens.

The German government has not denied reports by Der Spiegel and the Sueddeutsche Zeitung that the suspected spy was a double agent and worked for Germany's foreign intelligence service, the BND.

The newspapers said the man allegedly passed the US information about a German parliamentary committee’s investigation into the NSA’s activities.

He claimed to have worked with US intelligence since 2012, they reported.

A spokesman for the German government, Steffen Seibert, told reporters that the Chancellor and members of the parliamentary panel had been informed of the arrest.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Obama appear to be having an intense conversation outside the G20 summit, with Merkel using her hand to state a point German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Obama outside the G20 summit Federal prosecutors confirmed a 31-year-old German man was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of spying for foreign intelligence services.

They did not identify the suspect or say which agency he was suspected of working with.

Germany summoned the US ambassador in Berlin on Friday.

A statement from the foreign ministry said John B. Emerson was called in “in connection with an investigation by the federal prosecutor” and “was asked to help in the swift clarification” of the case.

The latest allegations of spying by the US, Germany’s supposed ally, have provoked outrage across the country, where memories of espionage by the Stasi secret police are still fresh for some residents.

Martina Renner, a member of the opposition Left Party on the NSA inquiry panel, said the case indicated that anyone who examined Snowden's revelations in detail was subject to scrutiny by US intelligence agencies.

“If the media reports are confirmed then there can't just be a legal response, there also has to be a political response,” she said.

Her panel heard testimony on Thursday from two former NSA employees, Thomas Drake and William Binney.

In his testimony, Mr Drake claimed that cooperation between the NSA and Germany's BND greatly increased after the 9/11 terror attacks in the United States.

He described the German spy agency as an “appendage” of the NSA.

Mr Seibert claimed Merkel discussed “foreign policy matters” in a telephone conversation with President Barack Obama on Thursday.

He said the conversation focused on Ukraine but would not say whether the arrest was also discussed.

Thomas Opperman, secretary of the Social Democratic Party group, said: “If the espionage allegations are proved, it is an outrageous attack on our parliamentary freedom.

“There is no justification for any power or country to enlist intelligence agents to spy on parliament.”

Katrin Göring-Eckardt, leader of Germany’s Green Party, told Spiegel Online: “All co-operation between German security services and allied agencies need to be reviewed.

“Should the suspected intelligence service spying on the parliamentary investigative committee be proved, it will be a huge fiasco for the BND and the government.”

The US National Security Council declined to comment.

Additional reporting by AP

Read more: 'US spies tapped Angela Merkel's phone for years'
NSA 'in bed' with German intelligence
Outrage in Spain as allegations emerge NSA tapped 60m calls
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
people
Life and Style
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
science
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
tv
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders were pictured embracing in 2012
people
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

HSE Manger - Solar

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: HSE Mana...

Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)

£350 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...

Powertrain Design Engineer

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I hope you are well. My client based in ...

Java Developer - Banking - London - Up to £560/day

£500 - £560 per day: Orgtel: Java Developer FX - Banking - London - Up to £560...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried