Merkel spied: an agent from Cairo on her staff


Berlin – Angela Merkel had a spy at home, or rather at work. According to a German intelligence report, a man employed by the German Chancellor’s most trusted collaborator would have passed the information to the Egyptian government for a few years. The issue is recent, Bild has revealed: investigations and the first measures to put the mole out of play date back to December 2019.

The spy would be a middle-level official employed at the chancellery’s press service in Berlin: a position that can be filled after passing an exam and having completed at least two years of professional training. The press service of the German government is led by Steffen Seibert, spokesman for the federal government and since 2010 a very trusted collaborator of the German leader, associated since 2016 also in the negotiation for Brexit. Seibert did not provide any further details on the matter, merely stating: «We do not comment on the ongoing investigations. It therefore remains to be understood why Cairo would have inflicted one of his men on the Federal Chancellery. The answer is in the report: “There are indications that Egyptian services are trying to recruit Egyptian citizens residing in Germany for intelligence purposes.” The man, in essence, was a recruiter, as there are many others in Europe. With a substantial difference: for many years Syrian or Iraqi emissaries have radicalized and converted young Europeans of Islamic faith to jihad to join them with the army of the Islamic State (ISIS). In this case, however, the Egyptian government of secular president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has done the opposite job, looking for trusted eyes to spy on the moves of his Islamic opponents, the Muslim Brotherhood, but also to control the Coptic Christian community. General Al-Sisi came to power in 2014 after overthrowing President Mohamed Morsi, an expression of the Muslim Brotherhood. The news on the Egyptian spy goes hand in hand with the announcement that the German government has approved the sale of a ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) submarine to the Cairo government. Al Sisi is among the main buyers of weapons and military vehicles made in Germany: only in 2019 did Egypt buy them for 802 billion euros.

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