German spies did not help US in Iraq: report

23rd February 2006, Comments 0 comments

23 February 2006, BERLIN - A parliamentary committee that discusses secret service work said Wednesday there was nothing to back up claims that German foreign intelligence agents aided the US during the Iraq war.

23 February 2006

BERLIN - A parliamentary committee that discusses secret service work said Wednesday there was nothing to back up claims that German foreign intelligence agents aided the US during the Iraq war.

"The issue has been cleared up and all allegations dispelled," said Norbert Roettgen, chairman of the parliamentary control committee.

The panel received a full report from the government on activities of the BND foreign intelligence service. The report, running into several hundred pages, is due to be made public on Thursday, except for passages which are top secret.

Roettgen said the report showed that BND agents active in Iraq did not assist in the preparation of military actions by US forces.

Germany was shaken last month by allegations, strongly denied by Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, that BND agents may have helped U.S. aircraft to aim bombs during the attack on Baghdad.

Roettgen said the report also exonerated the previous government of any involvement in the abduction of a German man mistaken for a terrorist by the US Central Intelligence Agency (ClA).

The man, Khaled al-Masri, a German citizen of Syrian descent, was seized in Macedonia in late 2003 and flown to an American prison in Kabul where he was kept and tortured for five months.

Masri has claimed he was visited in the prison three times by a senior German police official.

The three opposition parties, the Free Democrats (FDP), Greens and Left Party, have all suggested a parliamentary inquiry into the allegations, but the FDP on Wednesday said they would not make a formal decision on the matter until next month.

DPA

Subject: German news

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