“Mole” case in the BND: Promotion before arrest

The suspected betrayal of the Federal Intelligence Service could be more serious than previously known: Carsten L., of all people, was apparently supposed to check employees.

The employee of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), who was arrested on suspicion of espionage, was apparently about to work in a very security-related post. According to information from WDR, NDR and “Süddeutsche Zeitung” (SZ), the man, who is said to have spied for a Russian intelligence service, was most recently transferred to the BND area responsible for security checks on employees.

Carsten L. was apparently to be appointed head of the “Personal Security” department. Due to holiday periods, however, he is said not to have worked in this position. Personnel security is responsible for the very sensitive task of security checks on applications and employees in the foreign intelligence service.

Previously in a managerial position

It had already become known that Carsten L. had worked in a leading position in the Technical Reconnaissance Department (TA) for the past few years. It is responsible for monitoring worldwide telephone, satellite and Internet communications. Around half of all BND intelligence reports come from this department. The colonel is said to have come to the BND from the Bundeswehr more than ten years ago.

Carsten L. was arrested on December 21, 2022 by investigators from the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) in Berlin. His apartment in the capital, offices and his house near Munich were searched. The Attorney General is investigating him on suspicion of treason. In 2022, he is said to have disclosed official information, which is said to be state secrets, to a Russian secret service.

Notices from Foreign Service

Last year, the BND learned from a foreign partner service that a Russian secret service had apparently come into possession of secret BND information. As a result, the search for a traitor began in the service. Carsten L. became the focus of internal BND investigators.

The motive for the alleged betrayal is apparently not yet clear. So far, the investigation is said to have given no indication that Carsten L. received money for alleged treason. L. should not have been conspicuous during a routine security check. The BND is now examining whether something might have been overlooked.

When asked, Carsten L.’s lawyer did not want to comment on the specific allegations. The presumption of innocence continues to apply to the BND employee.

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