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Germany

US Intelligence Allegedly Bugged German Agents in Iraq

A German newspaper has written that US intelligence services spied on two German agents who remained in Iraq during the US-led war in 2003.

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Did the US intercept German intelligence during the Iraq war?

Citing a confidential government paper, the Leipziger Volkszeitung daily said that reports from the two German Federal Intelligence Agency (BND) agents stationed in Baghdad to the services headquarters near Munich may have been intercepted by US sources using a satellite telephone.

The newspaper said that, in addition the two agents -- who are currently involved in a controversy over their exact role during the war to which then Chancellor Gerhard Schröder was so vehemently opposed -- were "repeatedly pressed" to provide war intelligence from Baghdad to the US commando headquarters in Qatar. It added that the German agents refused to be drawn in, but that 25 of 125 BND reports were officially passed on to the US.

According to the paper, the Parliamentary Control Commission, which is charged with reviewing certain secret service activities, has all the information in the confidential report and will meet in Berlin on Wednesday to debate just how much of it should be made public.

That decision could cause the opposition Green party, which was the junior partner in Schröder's government, to rethink its objection to a parliamentary inquiry over the role of the BND during the war, the newspaper wrote. While the liberal FDP and the Left Party are both in favor of the inquiry, their votes are not enough to make it happen. A change of heart among the Greens could alter that.

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