• 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
Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall
Photo: Paul Sullivan

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall

Two expats who walked the Mauerweg - the 160-kilometre trail that runs the length of the former Berlin Wall - have written a book about forgotten aspects of its past and present. READ  

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat
Photo: DPA

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat

Germany's biggest department store chain Karstadt will close at least six stores, putting around 2,000 jobs at risk, in a drastic bid by its new boss to return it to profit. READ  

Quiz
How well do you know Germany?
Photos: DPA/Shutterstock

How well do you know Germany?

Do you know your Saxony facts from your Saxony-Anhalt ones? Test your knowledge of Germany's federal states in The Local's quiz. READ  

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal
Pollution from a coal-fired power station in Frimmersdorf, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal

The UN's climate chief hailed a European agreement in Bonn on greenhouse gases on Friday as providing "valuable momentum" for a world pact to be inked in Paris next year. READ  

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth
Photo: DPA

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

Germany will get an early Christmas present of around €779 million from the EU, thanks to weaker than expected GDP growth. READ  

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told
Photo: DPA

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told

It will take several days to find out what caused a massive explosion on Thursday which rocked a town on the Rhine, killing a builder and injuring 26 others. READ  

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'
An NH90 helicopter. Photo: DPA

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'

Germany's fleet of NH90 helicopters is undergoing engineering checks after one of them suffered a serious engine failure, in the latest blow to the country's military capabilities. READ  

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m
Rainer Schwarz at a court hearing in September into the case. Photo: DPA

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m

The man who was blamed for Berlin's miserable attempt to build a new airport must be paid more than €1 million - after being fired. READ  

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Kurds watching the attack on Kobane. Photo: DPA

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pressed UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon to bring possible poison gas use by Isis in Iraq before the Security Council. READ  

Spring back in German consumers' step?
Photo: DPA

Spring back in German consumers' step?

Update: Consumer confidence in Germany has stopped falling, as households appear to be no longer fazed by concerns about the economic fallout from geopolitical crises, a new poll found on Friday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Politics
Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
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

3,527
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd