Claim: German Double Agent Stole Files From Mailroom

As Merkel comments on the situation
By Shelley Hazen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2014 8:28 AM CDT
Claim: German Double Agent Stole Files From Mailroom
   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

If allegations that a German man spied on his country for the US are true, it's going to be a serious black mark on US-German relations, says Angela Merkel. The Wall Street Journal sheds more light on the 31-year-old accused spy, who was arrested Wednesday: Per sources, he was a low-level staffer at Germany’s intelligence agency and was caught after authoring an email that offered to hand secrets to the Russians. That discovery led to his alleged admission to spying for the US—from 2012 to 2014 he allegedly copied 218 documents that he had access to via a mailroom onto a flash drive. The selling price? About $34,000. Some of them may have referenced Germany’s probe into NSA surveillance in the country.

The White House and State Department are as of yet mum on the arrest, but Germany is talking. Should the claims be true, that would present a "clear contradiction as to what I consider to be trusting cooperation between agencies and partners," Merkel said today in Beijing, Reuters reports. Germany’s foreign minister went even further, declaring that, if true, his country’s "daily routine" with the US could be altered, adds Ireland's Independent. The country’s interior minister also suggested that Germany target the US in its own spying activities. In a Der Spiegel interview published today, Hillary Clinton noted the US would never sign a no-spy agreement with any country—something Germany has pushed for. (More Germany stories.)

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