Government panel to discuss German role in Iraq
28 February 2006, BERLIN - A special panel of the German parliament is to meet next Monday to discuss new revelations about German intelligence activities during the Iraq conflict, it was announced Tuesday.
28 February 2006
BERLIN - A special panel of the German parliament is to meet next Monday to discuss new revelations about German intelligence activities during the Iraq conflict, it was announced Tuesday.
The government will brief the committee on claims in a US newspaper that German agents passed on plans for the defence of Baghdad to the US ahead of the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
Both the government and the intelligence agency BND have dismissed the assertions made in an article in the New York Times on Monday as "false."
The Times said two German intelligence agents in Baghdad obtained the defence plans for the Iraqi capital, which provided the United States with information on where and how president Saddam Hussein planned to deploy his soldiers. It also gave a look into top-level Iraqi strategy sessions, the Times said.
The report indicated that Germany provided a great deal more assistance to the United States than the Berlin government has publicly acknowledged.
Last Thursday, the German government released a dossier about the information provided to the US by German agents who remained in the country after the invasion.
The information included details of military and troop activities and the location of Iraqi special forces, but made no mention of the Baghdad defence plans, which the Times said were obtained about a month before the invasion.
Then-chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's government was strongly opposed to the US military campaign to unseat Saddam Hussein and the disclosures that German spies helped the Americans has caused embarrassment in Berlin.
The opposition Greens and the Left party have called for a parliamentary investigation into the role played by German intelligence during the Iraq war.
One of the Greens' former leading figures, Joschka Fischer, was foreign minister under Schroeder. Germany's current Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was Schroeder's secret service coordinator.
Subject: German news