German Government terminating Gerhard Schindler, head of country’s spy agency

uni1461789023BERLIN, Germany – The German Government has confirmed the termination of Gerhard Schindler, who headed the country’s spy agency.

Reports claimed that he would be replaced by the head of the Finance Ministry Bruno Kahl.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff Peter Altmaier said in an official statement that Schindler, who has run the BND since 2012 and is not due to retire until 2018, would be replaced on July 1 by Bruno Kahl, an official in the finance ministry responsible for privatisations and government real estate.

Altmaier said, “The BND faces major challenges over the coming years, encompassing all aspects of its work. These include the evolution of its mission in light of shifting security challenges, the upgrading of the agency on the technical and personnel front, organisational and legal consequences arising from the parliamentary investigation into the NSA and the move of large parts of the BND from Pullach to Berlin.”

Reports claimed that Bruno Kahl, is close to Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) while Schindler is a well-known supporter of the Free Democratic Party, while his proposed replacement.

The move taken by the government comes one year post several detrimental revelations that the BND had helped the U.S. National Security Agency spy on European allies.

Attacks by Islamist militants in Brussels in March 2016 and in Paris in November 2015 exposed flaws related to European intelligence agencies and the cooperation between each other.

Germany has not suffered such an attack on its territory, but is seen as a prime target for the militant group Islamic State, which had threatened last month to takeoff attacks at Cologne-Bonn airport and the chancellery building in Berlin.

BND activities have been under the limelight since details of its far-reaching co-operation with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) became public in 2015.

Edward Snowden made the information public after he leaked information about the Western surveillance programmes that had found that the BNS had used mass surveillance software which was provided by the U.S. spies.

It was after this that a parliamentary investigation was launched.

Schindler defended himself by saying that his agency was “dependent” on the NSA and couldn’t refuse their demands for information – while also claiming that bad management at the agency meant he had been unaware of the domestic spying.

READ MORE

(Visited 112 times, 1 visits today)
About Cholo Brooks 13351 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.