• Germany edition
 
Citizenship for Iraqi informant 'Curveball' sparks questions
Photo: DPA

Citizenship for Iraqi informant 'Curveball' sparks questions

Published: 13 Jan 2011 12:00 GMT+01:00
Updated: 13 Jan 2011 12:00 GMT+01:00

The Interior Ministry in Baden-Württemberg was forced to explain this week how the informant, whose real name is Rafid Ahmed Alwan, became a German citizen in 2008. He has been living in Germany since 1999, when he arrived seeking asylum.

The Greens party has raised questions about the involvement of Germany's foreign intelligence service, the BND, in Alwan's naturalization.

The process had been intensively scrutinized and officials concluded it was “legally proper” that Alwan be free to apply to be naturalized, a spokesman for the city of Karlsruhe said on Wednesday.

The administration of former US President George Bush relied heavily on Alwan’s fabricated testimony that the Iraqi dictator Hussein was using mobile laboratories to manufacture biological weapons, even though the BND had expressed doubts about the claims – doubts that some CIA officials shared.

The latest revelation follows questions put by the opposition Greens to the Baden-Württemberg Interior Ministry. The ministry’s answer stated that the BND intelligence service had initiated and shepherded the application for citizenship without the state government’s knowledge – a situation the Greens interior affairs spokesman in the state, Hans-Ulrich Sckerl, branded “highly implausible.”

Alwan arrived in Germany in 1999 and sought asylum, claiming to have been a high-level biological weapons scientist in the Iraqi regime. Both BND and some CIA officials had expressed doubts about the claims even ahead of the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, according to various media reports.

In late 2004, the CIA formally admitted that Curveball had lied and was in fact a taxi driver in Baghdad. He had a degree in engineering, which he used to spin detailed fabrications about the non-existent mobile weapons labs.

In December, broadcaster NDR reported that BND had been looking after Alwan for years, despite the fact that it had been proven he had lied to officials. This included receiving €3,000 a month from a BND front company in Munich, Thiele und Friedrichs, until the end of 2008.

DAPD/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:36 January 13, 2011 by marimay
So, he told them what they wanted to hear.
17:41 January 16, 2011 by Johnny Cash
Nothing is surprising anymore.Of course he is getting special treatment. He help start another profitable war. He will have no problem with a pension.W would give him a job on his ranch in a minute.

When will people stop voting for political parties and start voting for decent,intelligent, competent folks with common morality and common sense who allegence is to the electorate and not a party boss. Can anyone tell me what political parties are good for apart from screwing countries and feeding inflated egos?
Today's headlines
Quiz
Can you pass the German citizenship test?
Photo: DPA

Can you pass the German citizenship test?

Since 2008 anyone applying for German citizenship has had to take a test on their new country's history, politics and values. Do you know enough about Germany to pass it? READ  

Rent caps are coming in 2015
Photo: DPA

Rent caps are coming in 2015

A move to cap rent rises in German cities has been agreed by coalition parties, Germany's justice minister announced on Tuesday morning. READ  

Boy, 6, among Berlin train attack victims
Photo: DPA

Boy, 6, among Berlin train attack victims

Two vicious acts of violence on Berlin trains over the weekend have shocked passengers, with the youngest attack victim aged just six. READ  

Gerst and crew get 3D printer and some mice
Gerst is waiting the arrival of the SpaceX Dragon which launched on Sunday. Photo: NASA TV/DPA

Gerst and crew get 3D printer and some mice

Alexander Gerst, Germany's man aboard the International Space Station (ISS), is at the ready to capture SpaceX's unmanned Dragon spacecraft with a cargo of supplies on Tuesday. READ  

Iraq denies entry to German military trainers
The seven trainers boarded their plane in Germany on Friday. Photo: DPA

Iraq denies entry to German military trainers

Seven German military trainers, who flew to Iraq on Friday to train Kurdish fighters battling Islamic extremists Isis, have been denied permission to enter the country. READ  

Father, 75, tries to dynamite son
Police searching the area after the TNT discovery in Nußdorf. Photo: DPA

Father, 75, tries to dynamite son

A Bavarian pensioner is being investigated on suspicion of attempted murder after planting 3.5kg of TNT in his son's garden, next door to his own home, police said on Monday. READ  

JobTalk Germany
How to become an au pair in Germany
Photo: DPA

How to become an au pair in Germany

It’s not quite as romantic as the Nanny Diaries, nor is it as magical as Mary Poppins. But being an au pair in Germany can be fun, as Emma Anderson finds out. READ  

Merkel hails 'impressive' French reform plans
Merkel and Valls on Monday in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Merkel hails 'impressive' French reform plans

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls visited Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Monday, hoping to gain Germany's blessing for his revised economic reform programme. READ  

German Fifa exec: 'Qatar won't host World Cup'
Theo Zwanziger and one of the planned stadiums in Qatar. Photo: DPA

German Fifa exec: 'Qatar won't host World Cup'

Germany's top Fifa official said on Monday Qatar will not host the 2022 World Cup as planned, due to climate conditions. Qatar's successful bid to host the tournament has been marred by corruption and human rights concerns. READ  

Germany plans air lifts to help fight Ebola
A Liberian man holds his daughter as they wait for treatment for suspected Ebola symptoms in Monrovia. Photo: DPA

Germany plans air lifts to help fight Ebola

Germany and France will send military transport planes to West Africa to help efforts to contain the Ebola epidemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel and military officials said on Friday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
DPA
Gallery
The best photos from Oktoberfest's opening weekend
Photo: DPA
Munich
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's food
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
Photo: Joanna Drath, University of Tübingen
Society
Europeans descended from three tribes
Photo: DPA
Culture
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Oktoberfest 2014: The best and worst in dirndl fashion
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Education
German universities tumble in global rankings
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,324
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd