A German national security agent has been arrested on suspicion of being an Islamist and disclosing sensitive information as part of a possible Isis-inspired terror plot.
The 51-year-old was a full-time employee of the Bundesamtes für Verfassungsschutz (BfV) – the German equivalent of MI5 – when he allegedly started using extremist chat sites under a fake name.
Security sources told Die Welt he was planning a bomb attack “in the name of Allah” on the intelligence agency’s headquarters in Cologne until he was discovered by a BfV informer who came across the internet threads last month.
The German suspect, who has a family and formerly worked at a bank, has been engaged in gathering intelligence on Islamist networks in Germany since April.
He converted to Islam two years ago and had made a pledge of allegiance to the Austrian Isis fighter Mohamed Mahmoud, Der Spiegel reported.
Mahmoud, who was jailed for supporting al-Qaeda and started a banned extremist organisation before being expelled from Germany, appeared in an Isis propaganda video calling for terror attacks in Europe last year.
Speaking in German, he ordered viewers to “pick up a big knife, go down to the streets and slaughter every infidel you encounter” before shooting a prisoner in the head.
The BfV has not confirmed the pledge of allegiance or planned attack, saying no “evidence of a concrete risk to the safety of the BfV and its workers” had been established.He has been arrested and prosecutors in Düsseldorf are leading the investigation.
“The BfV has revealed a suspected Islamist among its staff,” a spokesperson told The Independent.
“He is accused of expressing Islamist sentiments on the internet under a false name and to have passed on internal information in online chats.
“Additionally, he offered to disseminate sensitive information about the BfV, which could lead to a threat to the office.”
The suspect, a lifelong German citizen, was only recently recruited and had been “inconspicuous” throughout the application and training process, officials said.
Germany remains on high alert amid fears of further terror attacks following a suicide bombing and axe attack carried out by Isis supporters earlier this year.
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