German spies warn IS has anti-aircraft rockets: report

BERLIN — Germany’s intelligence service believes Islamic State jihadist fighters in northern Iraq possess anti-aircraft weapons that could take down passenger jets, according to a newspaper report Sunday. Continue reading

Berlin’s Priorities

BERLIN/ANKARA/RIYADH (Own report) – The German Chancellor is raising strong accusations against Turkey. One should “be able to expect from a NATO member country” that it “will set the right priorities” and ultimately give precedence to the struggle against IS, Angela Merkel said yesterday (Wednesday), in reference to the catastrophic situation in the North Syrian border town of Kobani. Ankara is refusing any form of assistance to the Syrian-Kurdish combatants, trying to fend off the terrorist troops of the “Islamic State” (IS) storming the city. Observers are suspecting that an IS conquest of Kobani may even be to the Turkish government’s geostrategic advantage. Merkel’s accusations of Ankara are surprising – not solely, because Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) has been systematically spying on Turkey. Therefore, Berlin had known of how Turkey has been supporting IS, without objecting. Likewise, Berlin had not intervened against the strategic measures being taken in Lebanon and Syria by the USA and Saudi Arabia, even though these also benefited the IS or other Salafist militias, that are today supporting the IS. Experts are warning that in the short-term, the strengthening of IS can no longer be halted. In the Turkish regions bordering on Syria, there could even be a similar development to the Afghan-Pakistan border.

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The Hegemony over Southeast Europe

BERLIN/BELGRADE (Own report) -The “Western Balkans Conference”, opening in Berlin today, is overshadow [sic] by the dispute over sanctions against Russia and criticism of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND). Serbia, a participant in the conference, has declared, it will not join the EU’s sanctions. Serbian enterprises are therefore not affected by Russian countermeasures and are even replacing agricultural products, whose importation from the EU has been banned by Moscow. The German government is attempting to prevent this. Berlin, in turn, has been forced to admit that, for years, the BND had systematically spied on Albania. Albania, Germany’s NATO ally, will also attend the conference. Berlin has initiated the “Western Balkans Conference” to shore up the hegemony over Southeast Europe, which it had acquired in the 1990s against the growing influence of China, Turkey and, particularly, Russia.

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Germany has spied on Turkey since 1976: Focus magazine

 

(Reuters) – Germany’s foreign intelligence agency has been spying on Turkey for nearly four decades, Focus magazine said on Saturday in a report which could raise tensions further between the NATO allies.

The details about the duration of possible surveillance and on the decision-making surrounding it go further than first reports earlier this week.

Turkey summoned Germany’s ambassador in Ankara on Monday after media reports that Berlin had identified Ankara as a top target of surveillance in a government document from 2009 and had been spying on Turkey for years.

Focus magazine said the BND intelligence agency had been spying on Turkey since 1976 and that German government under the then Social Democrat chancellor Helmut Schmidt had expressly approved the step.

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Liberated by the West

BERLIN/BAGHDAD (Own report) – Western aggressions in the Middle East and support from the West’s important regional allies have facilitated the rise of the terrorist organization, the “Islamic State” (IS), as observers point out. According to an expert at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), the IS predecessor, “Al-Qaida in Iraq,” was able to develop into a “powerful organization” only after the US led aggression against Iraq (“liberation from Saddam”). Not until the chaos provoked by the war in Syria, which Germany also helped fuel (“liberation from Assad”) was the IS predecessor the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) in a position to conquer and control whole regions and set up a power base for its further expansion. IS could not have reached its current strength without the financial and logistical support furnished by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, two close allies of the West. The SWP reports that there are even “indications” that “the cross-border traffic between the IS-controlled territory in Syria and Turkey” is still “considerable” – thus also, presumably, the transport of supplies. Meanwhile Western governments are preparing a “long military operation” against IS. Continue reading

Germany’s Spy Agency Is Ready To Shake Off Its Second Tier Reputation

The leader of Europe is once again about to stand on its own two feet, regain control.

 

“In the CIA people view liaison relationships as a pain in the ass but necessary,” says Valerie Plame, the CIA undercover agent whose identity was infamously disclosed by aides to President George W Bush soon after the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. Liaison relationships are the CIA’s term for cooperation with foreign intelligence agencies, and, given that not even the world’s mightiest spy outfit can go anywhere it likes, the CIA maintains plenty of such liaisons.

That includes the decades-long collaboration with Germany’s BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst), which was recently dented in a spectacular fashion when the CIA apparently decided that waiting for the BND to deliver information was too laborious and so put one of the BND’s own agents on its payroll. In fact, after having established a remarkable degree of closeness due to the shared threats of terrorism and weapons of mass destructions, espionage relations between allies are taking a sharper turn.

Nigel Inkster, a former MI6 agent who also served as the agency’s Assistant Chief and Director for Operations and Intelligence, adds “There’s been an erosion of cooperation between Nato allies with regards to Russia. Germany and Italy in particular have become much more economically dependent on Russia.”

A recently retired top BND official, who also asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter says, “We’ve always said [to the Americans], ‘up to here but no farther’. Now they’ve crossed that line.” In response, Germany has expelled the CIA’s station chief. Some German politicians, having found that the NSA monitored their phones, are now using encrypted ones. Continue reading

Germany to ‘spy on US and UK intelligence gathering’ for the first time in 45 years

Germany has ordered surveillance of British and American intelligence gathering on its soil to begin for the first time since 1945, according to reports.
Under the decision, US and British intelligence operations in Germany will be subject to the same counter-espionage measures as those of Russia, China and Iran.

“We need to send a strong signal,” a source close to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government told Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. The unprecedented move is a direct response to a series of spy scandals that have rocked British and American relations with Germany in the past year.

Mrs Merkel’s government has given the go-ahead to surveillance plans that first emerged after two suspected double agents were found allegedly spying for the Americans inside the German security establishment a few weeks ago. Continue reading

German spies want $400M to play catch-up with the NSA

Your new post-America superpower:

Süddeutsche Zeitung, NDR and WDR have turned up secret documents belonging to the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s counterpart to the NSA. It seems the BND is jealous of the digital espionage capabilities of the NSA and the U.K.’s GCHQ, and wants to up its game.

The documents warn that, if the BND doesn’t get the €300 million ($409 million) it needs to run expanded surveillance activities until 2020, Germany will fall behind even Italy and Spain in the spook stakes. They also suggest the spies hope to get their funding in the coming weeks. Continue reading

400 US mercenaries ‘deployed on ground’ in Ukraine military op

From the state-owned (FSB/KGB) Russian propaganda outlet:

About 400 elite mercenaries from the notorious US private security firm Academi (formerly Blackwater) are taking part in the Ukrainian military operation against anti-government protesters in southeastern regions of the country, German media reports.

The Bild am Sonntag newspaper, citing a source in intelligence circles, wrote Sunday that Academi employees are involved in the Kiev military crackdown on pro-autonomy activists in near the town of Slavyansk, in the Donetsk region. Continue reading

At all Costs

If you want the real deal on the Ukraine, here it is. Berlin is going all in. There are no such thing as sporatic uprisings where college kids empty the university classrooms to go out, demonstrate with wooden picket signs,  or throw bottles and stones at police officers in riot gear. These are 99.9% of the time well thought out and methodically planned in advance, such as the Occupy Wall Street (see also here) thugs.

KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) – Yesterday, the day after the German Chancellor held deliberations with two leaders of the Ukrainian opposition, protests in Kiev escalated into bloody confrontations. Demonstrators, unconditionally sponsored by Germany and other western countries for months, began, over the past few days, to arm themselves with firearms and ammunition. Two police officers were shot to death during yesterday’s uprising. This escalation into a bloody confrontation followed on the heels of government compliance with a fundamental demand of the demonstrators, just as it seemed that a de-escalation was about to begin – to the tactical disadvantage of the “German’s man” in Kiev, Vitali Klitschko, who has been calling for the president to resign. Klitschko, who flew to Berlin Monday, to discuss the next steps, threatened an even more bloody escalation and declared, that he does not “rule out the use of force in the evacuation of the Maidan.” One of the organizations he is relying on is explicitly named after Nazi collaborators, who had carried out mass-murder of Soviet Jews. Escalation strategies, such as those currently implemented in Kiev, are not alien to German foreign policy. Continue reading

Merkel compared NSA to Stasi in heated encounter with Obama

Don’t kid yourselves. The BND, like the CIA/NSA, is also highly informed about things before they happen. Presidents and chancellors don’t learn their being spied upon from a newspaper.

In an angry exchange with Barack Obama, Angela Merkel has compared the snooping practices of the US with those of the Stasi, the ubiquitous and all-powerful secret police of the communist dictatorship in East Germany, where she grew up.

The German chancellor also told the US president that America’s National Security Agency cannot be trusted because of the volume of material it had allowed to leak to the whistleblower Edward Snowden, according to the New York Times.

Livid after learning from Der Spiegel magazine that the Americans were listening in to her personal mobile phone, Merkel confronted Obama with the accusation: “This is like the Stasi.”

The newspaper also reported that Merkel was particularly angry that, based on the disclosures, “the NSA clearly couldn’t be trusted with private information, because they let Snowden clean them out.”

Snowden is to testify on the NSA scandal to a European parliament inquiry next month, to the anger of Washington which is pressuring the EU to stop the testimony.

Full article: Merkel compared NSA to Stasi in heated encounter with Obama (The Guardian)

Friend and Foe

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – New reports are confirming the close cooperation of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) with the National Security Agency (NSA). According to these reports, BND agents have repeatedly visited the NSA headquarters at Fort Meade to discuss technical issues. The NSA has also furnished the BND instruments for analyzing intercepted data. A former head of the Austrian intelligence service has confirmed that it was a “common understanding among all European intelligence services” to be “aware” of the NSA Prism surveillance program. Already years ago, officials of the US military have been quoted saying that the US military espionage center that is being established in the Hessian capital Wiesbaden – and that will reportedly also be used by the NSA – is destined to gather information “on the current situation of friend and foe, and everything that can influence our mission.” The German government has also admitted that the Western block’s cooperation of the intelligence services – which includes abduction and torture of suspects in the so-called war on terror – dates back to secret agreements between the leading NATO powers during the post-WW II decades. Continue reading

Merkel justifies NSA eavesdropping surveillance

Despite “justified questions” to the American intelligence community regarding eavesdropping on German networks, the US remains Berlin’s “most loyal ally”, announced Chancellor Angela Merkel in interview to Die Zeit weekly.

Merkel has made her first detailed comment into the unraveling diplomatic scandal with the America’s National Security Agency (NSA) global telecommunication eavesdropping, including those of its European allies, Germany foremost among them. Continue reading

NSA Spying in Germany: How Much Did the Chancellor Know?

What everyday people don’t understand is that countries spy on other countries on a routine basis, even allies. Matter of fact, in the real geopolitical world there is no such thing as an ally, only ‘interests’ — especially to the United States. England has regularly spied on the US, and vice-versa. Much like the NSA/CIA/FBI, Interpol (European CIA equivalent) has even been given nearly full authority (with immunity) to act as they please on American soil, by this very same US administration.

In addition, the NSA spying had to have been known long ago and approved by these same foreign governments complaining and making a scandal out of it. In summary, this is only being turned into a ‘scandal’ to make sure the politicians don’t lose popularity among their respective voters. This is not to whitewash what’s going on, but to point out that the real scandal is that the politicians in such countries as France and Germany allowed it to happen, have been caught red-handed and are only putting on a show for public consumption.

While the Chancellery appears to be outraged by the NSA’s spying tactics in Germany, the opposition doubts the revelations came as a surprise to Angela Merkel. Just how much could she have known?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will have to be pretty clear with US President Barack Obama the next time she has him on the line. At least that’s a reasonable assumption, based on the anger she has expressed about American spying operations in the European Union and Germany. Continue reading