• Germany's news in English
 

Citizenship for Iraqi informant 'Curveball' sparks questions

Published: 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
Ukraine, ebola push Germany to top of foreign policy
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA

Ukraine, ebola push Germany to top of foreign policy

Foreign policy think-tank the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) gave Germany top marks in its annual check-up of EU member states released on Thursday. READ  

Prost! Beer sales hop up for first gain in 8 years
Photo: DPA

Prost! Beer sales hop up for first gain in 8 years

New figures released Friday by federal statistics office Destatis are numbers breweries can drink to, as German beer consumption saw its first year-on-year rise since 2006. READ  

Germany has thousands of uni spots open
Photo: DPA

Germany has thousands of uni spots open

New research published by Spiegel on Friday shows that there are thousands of university placesa unoccupied across the country, while certain hot spots cope with too much demand. READ  

Borussia coach admits to 'downward spiral'
Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp at a press conference. Photo: DPA

Borussia coach admits to 'downward spiral'

Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp admits feeling the pressure as his side resume their fight to stay in Germany's top flight on Saturday at fellow Champions League side Bayer Leverkusen. READ  

Sudden dose of winter causes traffic chaos
Snow in Oberharz. Photo: DPA

Sudden dose of winter causes traffic chaos

A blast of winter has taken German drivers by surprise as snow and ice accounted for several traffic accidents across the country on Friday morning. READ  

This Week in History
Theodor Heuss: modern Germany's first president
Theodor Heuss at his swearing-in ceremony in 1949. Photo: DPA

Theodor Heuss: modern Germany's first president

The first President of the post-war Federal Republic of Germany, Theodor Heuss – born on January 31, 1884 – was one of the leading liberal politicians of the Weimar Republic and later helped rehabilitate his nation on the international scene. READ  

Lower energy costs tank inflation rate
Photo: DPA

Lower energy costs tank inflation rate

Plummeting energy costs and oil prices have driven Germany's rate of inflation into the red, the federal statistics agency reported on Thursday, though economists aren't ready to start talking deflation just yet. READ  

Poland bridles at German minimum wage
Photo: DPA

Poland bridles at German minimum wage

Germany's newly-introduced €8.50 minimum wage is raising hackles at Polish trucking companies, who say they shouldn't have to pay their drivers at that rate for the hours they spend on their western neighbour's roads. READ  

Life sentences handed out in murder-for-hire
A man photographs an appeal for witnesses in the death of Christin R. in 2012. Photo: DPA

Life sentences handed out in murder-for-hire

A Berlin judge on Thursday sentenced four people to life sentences in a sordid conspiracy murder case in which a pizza delivery driver was paid €500 to kill a young woman for her life insurance. READ  

Jobless numbers rise to top 3 million
Men at work. Photo: DPA

Jobless numbers rise to top 3 million

German jobless numbers rose this month, bringing unemployment up to seven percent, the Federal Labour Agency (BA) reported on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
The rise and spread of Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Photo: DPA
Politics
The Local's report from Pegida's largest ever demonstration.
Sponsored Article
Top-notch tech boosts bilingual schools
National
Six stories that will rock Germany this year
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Photo: DPA
National
What were your favourite news stories of 2014?
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
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

3,462
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd