Islamist mole ‘found working in German intelligence agency’

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Islamist mole found working in German intelligence agency

The German domestic intelligence service HQ (Picture: AP)

A suspected Islamic extremist has been uncovered working in Germany’s intelligence agency.

The mole, 51, is said to have admitted that he aimed to infiltate the agency so he could pass information to his ‘brothers in faith’, warning them about operations against them.

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He also wanted to ‘help the brothers’ plan an attack against his employer.

The suspect, a 51-year-old German who had converted to Islam, was caught by another agent who was posing as a radical Islamist in an online chatroom.

Duesseldorf prosecutors said yesterday that the plot was caught before any significant damage could be done.

‘So far, there have been no reliable indications that the accused had already given security-relevant information to people from the violent Salafist scene,’ prosecutor Ralf Herrenbrueck said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a speech at the 60th anniversary of the founding of the German Intelligence Services (BND) in Berlin, Germany, November 28, 2016. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking at the 60th anniversary of the founding of the service this week (Picture: Reuters)

The suspect, whose identity has not been released, is now in custody and has partially confessed to investigators, Herrenbrueck said.

He is under investigation on suspicion of preparing an act of violence against the state and of an attempted violation of state secrets regulations, among other charges.

The man has been described by German media as a former bank employee who was married with children. He started with the intelligence service in April and was tasked with the surveillance of Salafisi Muslims, who adhere to an ultra-conservative form of Islam, Herrenbrueck said.

There are an estimated 9,200 Salafists in Germany.

The BfV intelligence service, Germany’s equivalent to to MI5, said it had uncovered no red flags in the hiring or the interviewing process.

‘The worker, who started not long ago, had been inconspicuous during the application process, training and at work,’ the agency said.

The agency said once it had uncovered the man, who had used a pseudonym online, it turned the case over to Duesseldorf prosecutors.

Interior Ministry spokesman Tobias Plate said there were ‘no indications that there are fundamental structural problems’ at the BfV.