Germany kicks out top US spy over espionage claims - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Germany kicks out top US spy over espionage claims

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Michael Sohn). German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks as she arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn). German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks as she arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, July 9, 2014.
(AP Photo/Michael Sohn). German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn). German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, July 9, 2014.
  • NationalMore>>

  • Black leaders worry about low turnout in November

    Black leaders worry about low turnout in November

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:33 PM EDT2014-07-23 01:33:25 GMT
    Civil rights leaders at the NAACP annual convention in Las Vegas on Tuesday worried that dwindling African-American turnout in November could lead to the expansion of voter-identification laws that makes it harder...More
    Civil rights leaders at the NAACP annual convention in Las Vegas on Tuesday worried that dwindling African-American turnout in November could lead to the expansion of voter-identification laws that make it harder for that...More
  • New arrest linked to gun used after Boston attacks

    New arrest linked to gun used after Boston attacks

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:31 PM EDT2014-07-23 01:31:19 GMT
    A man believed to have provided the gun used by Boston Marathon bombing suspects to kill a college police officer has been arrested on drug and weapon charges.More
    A friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is believed to have provided the handgun used to kill a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer during the manhunt, people with knowledge of the...More
  • GOP voters in Georgia decide Senate nominee

    GOP voters in Georgia decide Senate nominee

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:20 PM EDT2014-07-23 01:20:59 GMT
    After a bruising nine-week runoff campaign, Georgia Republicans will finally have their Senate nominee who will compete against Democrat Michelle Nunn for a seat the GOP can ill afford to lose as the party looks to...More
    Early returns Tuesday suggest a long night of vote counting in a tight race for Georgia's Republican Senate nomination between U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston and businessman David Perdue.More
By FRANK JORDANS
Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) - Germany on Thursday demanded Washington's top spy in Berlin leave the country as a new round of allegations of U.S. espionage worsened the friction between the two allies.

The immediate trigger was the emergence of two new cases of alleged American spying. They inflamed a furor that erupted last year when it was learned that the U.S. was intercepting Internet traffic in Germany and eavesdropping on Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone calls.

More broadly, the move to kick out the CIA station chief appears to reflect a Germany out of patience with what it sees as a pattern of American disrespect and interference.

"The representative of the U.S. intelligence services at the United States Embassy has been asked to leave Germany," German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement.

"The request occurred against the backdrop of the ongoing investigation by federal prosecutors as well as the questions that were posed months ago about the activities of U.S. intelligence agencies in Germany," he added. "The government takes the matter very seriously."

U.S. officials described Germany's action as extraordinary.

While agents have been expelled from time to time, usually by unfriendly powers, a former U.S. official said he couldn't remember an instance since the end of the Cold War in which the ranking intelligence official was asked to leave a country.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss intelligence issues publicly.

Germany refused to identify the CIA station chief by name. In the United States, it is illegal to disclose the name of an undercover operative.

Shortly before Thursday's announcement, Merkel told reporters that Germany and the United States had "very different approaches" to the role of intelligence agencies, and she insisted that any spying on allies is "a waste of energy."

White House press secretary Josh Earnest wouldn't comment on Germany's decision but said the U.S. takes intelligence matters "very seriously."

"I don't want you to come away from this exchange thinking we take this matter lightly," he said, adding that the U.S. and Germany continue to have a strong partnership.

The reports last year that the National Security Agency had targeted Merkel and Internet traffic have triggered a German criminal investigation and a parliamentary probe.

On Wednesday, German police raided properties in the Berlin area in what Seibert said was a case involving "a very serious suspicion" of espionage.

German media reported that the man being investigated worked at Germany's Defense Ministry in a department dealing with international security policy, and he had aroused suspicion because of his close contacts to alleged U.S. spies.

Last week, a 31-year-old German intelligence employee was arrested on suspicion of spying for foreign powers since 2012. German media have reported that he spied for the CIA.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he could not comprehend why the U.S. would spy on his country.

"We speak to each other all the time, and nobody keeps their views secret," he said in an interview published Wednesday by the Saarbruecker Zeitung.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the political fallout appeared to outweigh any harm done to Germany by the alleged spying.

"If the situation remains what we know now, the information reaped by this suspected espionage is laughable," de Maiziere said in a statement. "However, the political damage is already disproportionate and serious."

Under the elaborate rules of international diplomacy, Germany's move to kick out the spy chief was a request two steps short of a formal expulsion.

In the past two years, Germany has also asked diplomats from Syria and Pakistan to leave the country.

___

Geir Moulson in Berlin, and Nedra Pickler and Ken Dilanian in Washington contributed to this report.

___

Follow Frank Jordans on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/wirereporter

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • InternationalMore>>

  • US: Russia 'created the conditions' for shoot-down

    US: Russia 'created the conditions' for shoot-down

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 8:41 PM EDT2014-07-23 00:41:12 GMT
    The Obama administration said Tuesday it would present data from the U.S. intelligence community laying out what's known about the Malaysia Airlines plane that was shot down in Ukraine.More
    Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for "creating the conditions" that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian...More
  • UN chief believes Gaza fighting will end soon

    UN chief believes Gaza fighting will end soon

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 8:03 PM EDT2014-07-23 00:03:27 GMT
    The Palestinian U.N. envoy says a draft U.N. resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip will be formally circulated to the Security Council.More
    The U.N. secretary-general said Tuesday it is his "hope and belief" that his emergency mission to the Middle East will lead to an end to the fighting between Hamas and Israel "in the very near future."More
  • Airlines ban flights to Israel after rocket strike

    Airlines ban flights to Israel after rocket strike

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:42 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:42:54 GMT
    Israel bombed five mosques, a sports stadium and the home of the late Hamas military chief across the Gaza Strip early Tuesday, a Gaza police official said, as the U.N. chief and the U.S. secretary of state...More
    A Hamas rocket exploded Tuesday near Israel's main airport, prompting a ban on flights from the U.S. and many from Europe and Canada as aviation authorities responded to the shock of seeing a civilian jetliner shot...More
Powered by WorldNow

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service