BND intelligence agency loses HQ blueprints

Secret building plans for the new headquarters of Germany's BND Intelligence agency have disappeared and a high-ranking employee is suspected of downloading porn to his work computer, according to media reports.

BND intelligence agency loses HQ blueprints
Photo: DPA

Focus magazine’s website reported that the plans for the new headquarters – which should be finished in the next few years – feature sensitive information such as location of alarm systems and anti-terrorism equipment. Theft by unknown elements is suspected.

A BND representative told Die Welt newspaper that the documents were likely leaked by a construction contractor.

“It’s obvious the papers were passed on from there,” he said.

The agency declined comment officially on the situation. But a spokesman for the Chancellery told Focus the government had ordered a complete investigation and has asked security officials to prepare an evaluation of security measures.

The BND has also been rocked by the porn allegations – allegedly a high-ranking employee downloaded internet porn onto his work computer.

According to Die Welt the worker fell under suspicion in March after a routine check by in-house technicians. They also found that he had made purchases on eBay. In general, private use of BND computers is strictly prohibited.

The discovery may be particularly embarrassing because the man is a key department head and a confidante of the intelligence agency’s president, Ernst Uhrlau, Die Welt.

The Local/mdm

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Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.