Police in Germany have apprehended a military personnel suspected of leaking classified information to Russian intelligence. This incident marks the third case of alleged espionage for the Kremlin by a German individual in less than a year.
On Wednesday, the German federal prosecutor’s office confirmed the arrest of Thomas H., a military procurement specialist, in the city of Koblenz. The Justice Minister, Marco Buschmann, expressed his gratitude to those involved in the operation, emphasizing the importance of vigilance in such matters.
According to the prosecutor’s statement, Thomas H. made multiple visits to the Russian consulate in Bonn and the embassy in Berlin, starting from May, offering his cooperation. On one occasion, he reportedly shared information from his workplace with the understanding that it would be relayed to Russian agents.
The prosecutor’s office did not provide specific details regarding the nature of the information or whether it had reached Russian security or intelligence agencies.
German authorities have repeatedly raised concerns about increased Russian espionage activities, particularly amidst the ongoing Ukraine conflict. In April of last year, Berlin expelled 40 Russian diplomats, accusing them of being spies. In response, the Russian Foreign Ministry expelled an equal number of German diplomats, describing the allegations as unacceptable.
The recent arrest of Thomas H. is reminiscent of the case from eight months ago when an employee of Germany’s foreign intelligence service (BND) was arrested and charged with treason for leaking state secrets to Moscow. This double agent was also accused of sharing classified information with the CIA, resulting in an eight-year prison sentence. In January, his alleged collaborator, a civilian, was arrested and charged with assisting in the transfer of documents to the Kremlin.
In addition to these incidents, Germany encountered other instances of individuals involved in espionage activities linked to Russia. Last October, the country’s cybersecurity chief was dismissed following allegations of his ties to Russian intelligence services. Furthermore, in November, an army reserve officer was found guilty of leaking military personnel files and cybersecurity information to Moscow between 2014 and 2020.
These cases highlight the ongoing threat of foreign intelligence operations within Germany’s borders. The German government continues to emphasize the importance of maintaining vigilance and strengthening counterintelligence measures to safeguard national security.
The arrest of Thomas H. serves as a reminder of the persistent challenges posed by foreign intelligence agencies seeking to obtain classified information. Authorities in Germany are committed to thwarting such espionage attempts and ensuring the safety and security of the country and its institutions.