Offbeat Germany. An Egyptian spy allegedly discovered in the press service of Merkel

01:05  10 july  2020
01:05  10 july  2020 Source:   ouest-france.fr

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L'un des membres du service de presse d'Angela Merkel serait un espion égyptien. © Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP One of the members of the press service of Angela Merkel would be an Egyptian spy.

German police have allegedly arrested a collaborator of the German chancellor, suspected of being a spy in the service of Egypt.

German police said Thursday they had opened an investigation against an alleged Egyptian spy working for press service Chancellor Angela Merkel .

The man is suspected "of having worked for years on behalf of an Egyptian intelligence service" , said German Internal Intelligence in a report, specifying that the investigation opened in December 2019 " continues » today.

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He has not given any information on his identity or his fate in recent months, only talking about "measures" taken by the police against him.

According to the German daily Bild, the man is an employee of the German public service "of intermediate grade" , hierarchically at a higher level than the beginners but not forming part of the high civil service.

He worked in particular in the service of visits of the German federal press center, the Bundespresseamt, a service in charge in particular of the communication on the activities of the chancellery. This affair is therefore very embarrassing for Angela Merkel.

In particular, the alleged spy was responsible for welcoming visitors. According to Bild, he could in particular have in this way monitored Egyptian journalists.

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Surveillance of opponents

According to the German Internal Intelligence report, both the Egyptian foreign espionage service (GIS) and its internal intelligence service (NSS) are active in Germany.

Their objective is in particular to collect information on opponents of the Egyptian regime of President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi who live in the country. And in particular sympathizers of the Brotherhood of the Muslim Brotherhood, banned since 2013 in Egypt.

The Egyptian services are also interested in the members of the Christian community of the Copts and try to recruit Egyptian nationals as spies. "They take advantage of the trips they make to Egyptian diplomatic representations in Germany or the trips they make" in their country of origin, the report said.

Apart from a brief parenthesis following the popular uprising of January-February 2011 which ousted President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt has been ruled since 1952 by the military.

The army, portrayed as the protector of the people, is omnipresent in society and its role has grown in recent years.

The current president came to power in 2013 after dismissing Mohamed Morsi, the only democratically elected and civil head of state in Egypt.

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