Suspicion of Russian espionage: politicians call BND arrest "wake-up call for everyone"

Did Carsten L.

Suspicion of Russian espionage: politicians call BND arrest "wake-up call for everyone"

Did Carsten L. spy for Russia? The BND employee has been in custody since Thursday. The Federal Public Prosecutor's Office calls him "strongly suspected of treason". That shows "how vigilant we have to be," warns Justice Minister Buschmann.

Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann has welcomed the exposure of a suspected Russian spy at the Federal Intelligence Service (BND). Buschmann congratulated the investigating federal prosecutor on Twitter on the arrest. "If the suspicion is confirmed, an important blow against Russian espionage has been struck here," wrote Buschmann. This shows "how vigilant we have to be".

Officials from the Federal Criminal Police Office arrested BND employee Carsten L. on Wednesday because of the transmission of information to a "Russian intelligence service" that took place this year. He was "urgently suspected of treason".

The information allegedly passed on is "a state secret within the meaning of Section 93 of the Criminal Code," the federal prosecutor said. This paragraph refers to "facts, objects or knowledge that are only accessible to a limited group of people and must be kept secret from a foreign power in order to avert the risk of serious damage to the external security of the Federal Republic of Germany".

According to BND President Bruno Kahl, no further information on the case will be made available for the time being, so as not to give Russia an advantage in its plans to harm Germany. He referred to Russia's "ruthlessness and willingness to use violence".

The chairwoman of the Defense Committee in the Bundestag, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, describes this approach as correct. "Anyone who has anything to do with Russia knows that people who could possibly say something about it are easily eliminated," she told Bayerischer Rundfunk. "And that's why, just to protect them, it would be good not to go into detail about it."

In any case, the case is "a wake-up call to everyone that Russia is no exception to spying on us, too, in order to destabilize our system in the Federal Republic," said Strack-Zimmermann. "The good news is that anyone spying for Russia needs to know that they need to be aware of being discovered. The authorities are wide awake and will strike if need be."