Two Alleged Russian Spies Arrested In Germany, Accused Of Plotting To Attack U.S. Military And Other Sites

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John Oyewale Contributor
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German authorities arrested two alleged spies believed to be plotting attacks on Russia’s behalf against a U.S. military base and other potential targets, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported Thursday.

The duo, dual German-Russian citizens, were arrested in Bayreuth, northern Bavaria and accused of reconnoitering various potential targets including a U.S. Army facility at Grafenwöhr in Bavaria—one of the sites where Ukrainian soldiers receive training on the use of Abrams tanks sent in by the U.S., according to the news report.

Prosecutors allege that one of the men, identified as Dieter S, had been discussing plans to carry out an explosion and arson in Germany with a Russian intelligence operative since October last year, so as to undercut Germany’s support for Ukraine, the BBC reported. Germany, with its €28bn (£24bn) funding for Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in Feb. 2022, is second only to the U.S. in donating military aid to Ukraine.

Dieter S, who allegedly fought in a Russian proxy armed force in occupied eastern Ukraine from 2014-16, took photos and videos of U.S. bases and other locations and sent the files to his Russian contact, prosecutors reportedly further alleged.

The second man, identified as Alexander J, allegedly began helping Dieter S in March, the report noted.

Germany’s Federal Minister of the Interior and Community Nancy Faeser reportedly condemned the plots as “a particularly serious case of alleged spy activity for [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s criminal regime” and said authorities had prevented “possible explosive attacks”.

Justice Minister Marco Buschmann reportedly described the arrests as “another significant investigative success” over Russian sabotage and espionage.

Germany’s Federal Foreign Office has summoned the Russian ambassador Sergei Nechaev over the matter, according to the outlet. (RELATED: NATO Country Investigates Allegedly Leaked Audio Of Soldiers Discussing Sensitive Military Aid)

The arrests reportedly occurred while Germany’s Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck was paying an unannounced visit to Ukraine “at a time when Ukraine needed all the support it can get in its fight for freedom”.

Early last month, Germany accused Russia of wiretapping senior German soldiers discussing sending sensitive military aid to Ukraine for possible use against Kerch Bridge, which links Russia with Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula occupied by Russia.

Last summer, a German staffer with the country’s military procurement agency was arrested in Koblenz, western Germany, and accused of handing information to Russian diplomats in Bonn and Berlin, the BBC reported.

The forty-four-year-old Austrian and former boss of the insolvent German fintech company, Wirecard, Jan Marsalek, is also now suspected to be a Russian spy, according to the BBC. Marsalek fled Germany in June 2020 in the wake of his firing and his company’s collapse on the pretext of chasing down missing billions to the Philippines but rather was spotted in Minsk, Belarus, according to the investigative journalism site Bellingcat. He later was reported to be in Moscow, Russia, under the aegis of the country’s military intelligence, according to the Moscow Times.

Marsalek had a history of frequenting Russia and meeting Russian military personnel, according to Bellingcat. Marsalek’s grandfather was also a suspected Russian spy, the Financial Times reported.