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FTR #761 The Adventures of Eddie the Friendly Spook, Part 7: Why the NSA Should Be Spying on Germany and Its Chancellor

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books avail­able on this site.)

NB: This description contains an important update on Ernst Uhrlau, as well as other important information not included in the original broadcast.

Listen: MP3

Side 1  Side 2

Introduction: Former NSA employee Thomas Drake disclosed that NSA spying on Germany should come as no surprise. The presence of 9/11 hijackers in Hamburg prompted the agency to target Germany as its number one target in Europe.

This program highlights German/Underground Reich connections to both the 9/11 attacks and the Oklahoma City bombing. German/Underground Reich links to other major terrorist incidents are discussed as well. Of primary importance are the career of Ernst Uhrlau and disturbing evidence that elements of BND were running Mohamed Atta.

Ernst Uhrlau was chief of police in Hamburg during the time period in which German intelligence had taken the Hamburg cell of 9/11 hijackers under surveillance. In 1998, he was appointed special adviser to Chancellor Helmut Kohl on intelligence matters.

(The son of Helmut Kohl’s chief of staff, Andreas Strassmeir, may well have been the mastermind of the Oklahoma City bombing. See the photo at right and discussion below. With Uhrlau as special adviser to Chancellor Kohl on intelligence matters, and with Andreas Strassmeir apparently having overseen the OKC bombing plot, there is ample reason to bug the Chancellor’s phone!)

In 2005, Uhrlau became head of the BND! During his tenure as BND director, files on BND officers with SS and Gestapo backgrounds were shredded. According to Der Spiegel, BND officers were recruited from the families of BND operatives, permitting a perpetuation of Nazi ideology and methodology from the original Gehlen SS and Gestapo recruits!

(For newer users of this website, we note that it is impossible to briefly explain the concept of The Underground Reich. The very mention of such a term will seem like madness to the unititiated. We recommend that people read The Nazis Go UndergroundMartin Bormann: Nazi in ExileThe New Germany and the Old Nazis, and “The Secret Treaty of Fort Hunt.”)

Program Highlights Include: Review of the role of the Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft in the movements of Mohamed Atta; the Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft’s ties with German industry; review of the control of corporate Germany by the Bormann capital network; review of information developed by the BKA (Germany’s federal police) that Atta’s associates in South Florida were the children of prominent German industrialists; Mohamed Atta’s relationship with the Goethe Institute, widely seen as a front for the BND; review of many apparent links of SICO to the 9/11 attacks (SICO is the Geneva-based holding company for the Bin Laden family’s varied and lucrative enterprises); review of SICO’s aviation subsidiary’s training of pilots at Huffman Aviation; review of SICO co-chairman Baudoin Dunand’s links to Francois Genoud; review of Genoud’s links to the 9/11 money trail and Bank Al-Taqwa; review of SICO’s use of the Clearstream network, very possibly to generate funds for the 9/11 attacks.

With the rhetorical firestorm of faux outrage coming from the EU and Angela Merkel’s office over NSA spying, it is important to recall some very important information.

Much of what is presented below will be review for veteran listeners/readers.

We call attention to Ernst Uhrlau, chief of police in Hamburg during the time period in which German intelligence had taken the Hamburg cell of 9/11 hijackers under surveillance. In 1998, he was appointed special adviser to Chancellor Helmut Kohl on intelligence matters

(The son of Helmut Kohl’s chief of staff, Andreas Strassmeir, may well have been the mastermind of the Oklahoma City bombing. See the photo at right and discussion below. With Uhrlau as special adviser to Chancellor Kohl on intelligence matters, and with Andreas Strassmeir apparently having overseen the OKC bombing plot, there is ample reason to bug the Chancellor’s phone!)

In 2005, Uhrlau became head of the BND!

It should come as no surprise that the NSA would target Germany as a “hot spot” for electronic surveillance. An overview of the most important terrorist incidents affecting the United States over the last quarter of a century reveals important evidentiary tributaries leading to Germany:

  • The bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 was executed in Germany. The bomb was placed aboard the plane in Germany and the bombers were heavily infiltrated by German intelligence. One or more of the cell of bombers was a German intelligence operative.
  • The financing for the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 came from operatives in Germany.
  • The actual mastermind of the Oklahoma City bombing, according to ATF informant Carol Howe, was Andreas Strassmeier. Strassmeir was a “former” Bundeswehr officer and the son of Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s chief of staff. Andreas’ grandfather was one of the charter members of the NSDAP under Hitler. The resemblance between Strassmeir and “John Doe #2” is striking. (“John Doe #2 is an individual seen in the company of convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. He has never been formally identified.)
  • Not only did the 9/11 hijack conspirators coalesce in Hamburg, but there is strong evidence that German intelligence was involved with the attack. Many of hijacker Mohamed Atta’s associates in South Florida were Germans. Atta was moved around under the cover of the Carl Duisberg Society (Gesellschaft). (See text excerpts below.) In Florida, he was associating with the sons and daughters of prominent German industrialists. (See text excerpts below.) Of interest, also, is the fact that CIA pilots apparently made a “run” to the Bormann ranch. (See text excerpts below.) This sounds like a regular route. In our conversations with Daniel Hopsicker, we have noted that the South Florida aviation milieu had been a focal point of covert operations for decades, dating back to the Second World War. The Bormann ranch was in the three-borders area highlighted in FTR #457. Did the German associates of Mohamed Atta come up the other end of that pipeline?
  • There are numerous evidentiary tributaries between the first World Trade Center attack, the Oklahoma City bombing and the 9/11 attacks, as set forth in FTR #330.
  • The “vacuum cleaner” activities of NSA/GCHQ have been known for a long time–we have done programs about it dating back many years. The formal, public attack on the ECHELON network began in 1998. That attack came from Germany and Underground Reich-associated elements such as the Free Congress Foundation.
  • In August of 1998, several things happened almost simultaneously–as the German/EU/Free Congress Foundation/Underground Reich attack on ECHELON/Menwith Hill was gaining momentum, Osama bin Laden stopped using his cell phone and began using couriers for important communication. At this time, German intelligence had the Hamburg cell (of 9/11 hijackers) under electronic surveillance. German intelligence did NOT alert the United States.
  • The chief of the Hamburg police in this precise time period was Ernst Uhrlau. In 1998, Uhlrlau was appointed special adviser to the Chancellor on intelligence matters. (The Chancellor at the time was Helmut Kohl. Kohl’s chief of staff was Gunther Strassmeier, father of the aforementioned Andreas Strassmeier!)
  • In 2005, Uhrlau was appointed head of the BND!
  • In an update, we learn that Germany is threatening to suspend the SWIFT agreement allowing the U.S. to track bank transfer data to monitor the flow of terrorist money. The German justice minister said she fears the program is used to gather economic intelligence. Noting the relatinship between the Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft and German corporations, it isn’t much of a reach to extrapolate that the Bormann capital network is a focal point of that intelligence gathering.
  • Mohamed Atta studied German at the Goethe Institute, widely used as a front for the BND.
  • A fascinating and important detail concerning the hijackers is the fact that Yeslam bin Laden’s SICO subsidiary trained its pilots at Rudi Dekkers’ Huffman Aviation in Venice, Florida! Huffman is the school at which Atta and company were “trained.” Although he denies it, there are profound indications that Yeslam and SICO are involved with the activities of Al Qaeda. This subject will be dealt with at greater length below. Note that there are numerous connections between the milieu of Huffman Aviation and the Iran-Contra-connected drug smuggling routes. Recall that SICO personnel were involved with some of these Iran-Contra drug routes. (For more about SICO and 9/11, see FTR #’s 498 & 499.)
  • The co-chairman of the board of directors of SICO is Baudoin Dunand a friend and professional associate of Francois Genoud. He also was Genoud’s counsel.
  • Reprising an item of discussion from FTR#357, the program cites the opinion of Ernest Backes (one of Europe’s foremost experts on money laundering) concerning the role of Francois Genoud in the development of the events of 9/11. Genoud (who committed suicide in 1996) was very close to Al Taqwa personages, especially Achmed Huber. Bank Al Taqwa appears to have played a significant role in the financing of Al Qaeda’s activities, as well as those of Hamas. According to Backes, Genoud was also a financial adviser to the Bin Laden family.
  • It is important, in this context, to review the Clearstream financial network. The connecting links between Clearstream, Al Taqwa, the Banco del Gottardo (formerly the Swiss branch of the Banco Ambrosiano) and Bin Laden were further described by one of Clearstream’s founders, Ernest Backes. Note the opening of 16 unregistered accounts by SICO in the spring of 2001. Is there a relationship between the liquidation of the financial entities in early 2001 by Rochat, Dunand and Zucker and the opening of the Clearstream accounts at approximately the same time? (This is discussed at greater length in FTR #’s 498 & 499.)
  • UPDATE: Angela Merkel has proposed an EU-wide communications system to guard against NSA and GCHQ spying, while ramping up spying against the U.S.

“Embassy Espionage: The NSA’s Secret Spy Hub in Berlin” by SPIEGEL staff; Der Spiegel; 10/27/2013.

. . . . Former NSA employee Thomas Drake does not see this as a contradiction. “After the attacks of September 11, 2001, Germany became intelligence target number one in Europe,” he says. The US government did not trust Germany, because some of the Sept. 11 suicide pilots had lived in Hamburg. . . .

“Ernst Uhrlau”; Wikipedia.

. . . . From 1996-98, Ernst Uhrlau was the Chief of Hamburg Police. In 1998, Uhrlau was appointed a Coordinator of the Intelligence Community in the office of the Chancellor.

On 1 December 2005, he was appointed to the post of the head of the BND. . . .

“Obscur­ing the Past: Intel­li­gence Agency Destroyed Files on For­mer SS Members” by Klaus Wiegrefe; Der Spiegel; 11/30/2013.

His­to­ri­ans con­duct­ing an inter­nal study of ties between employ­ees of the Ger­man for­eign intel­li­gence agency and the Third Reich have made a shock­ing dis­cov­ery. In 2007, the BND destroyed per­son­nel files of employ­ees who had once been mem­bers of the SS and the Gestapo. . . .

. . . . Now, only one week before Uhrlau’s retire­ment, the com­mis­sion has uncov­ered what is a true his­tor­i­cal scan­dal. The researchers have found that the BND destroyed the per­son­nel files of around 250 BND offi­cials in 2007. The agency has con­firmed that this happened.

The com­mis­sion claims that the destroyed doc­u­ments include papers on peo­ple who were “in sig­nif­i­cant intel­li­gence posi­tions in the SS, the SD (the intel­li­gence agency of the SS and the Nazi Party) or the Gestapo.” They added that some of the indi­vid­u­als had even been inves­ti­gated after 1945 for pos­si­ble war crimes. His­to­rian Klaus-Dietmar Henke, spokesman for the com­mis­sion, told SPIEGEL ONLINE he was “some­what stunned” by the occurrence.

Did Agency Employ­ees Seek to Sab­o­tage Investigation? . . .

. . . . It is no secret that some peo­ple within the BND are unhappy about Uhrlau’s project. Some employ­ees are fun­da­men­tally opposed to the agency shed­ding light on its own past. Oth­ers are wor­ried about the rep­u­ta­tions of their own fam­i­lies — for many years, the BND delib­er­ately recruited new staff from among the rel­a­tives of exist­ing BND employees. . . .

“Ger­mans Were Track­ing Sept. 11 Con­spir­a­tors as Early as 1998, Doc­u­ments Dis­close” by Desmond But­ler; New York Times; 1/18/2003; p. A10.

. . . . Three years before the Sept. 11 attacks, Germany’s domes­tic intel­li­gence ser­vice was track­ing promi­nent mem­bers of the Ham­burg ter­ror­ist cell that planned and exe­cuted the air­craft hijack­ings, accord­ing to newly obtained doc­u­ments. The doc­u­ments, includ­ing intel­li­gence reports, sur­veil­lance logs and tran­scripts of inter­cepted tele­phone calls, appear to con­tra­dict pub­lic claims by the Ger­man author­i­ties that they knew lit­tle about the mem­bers of the Ham­burg cell before the attacks.

As early as 1998, the records show, the Ger­mans mon­i­tored a meet­ing between men sus­pected of plot­ting the attacks. The sur­veil­lance would lead a year later to the Ham­burg apart­ment where Mohamed Atta and other main plot­ters were liv­ing while attend­ing uni­ver­si­ties. While the records do not indi­cate that author­i­ties heard any men­tion of a spe­cific plan, they depict a sur­veil­lance mis­sion exten­sive enough to raise anew the polit­i­cally sen­si­tive ques­tion of whether the Ger­mans missed a chance to dis­rupt the cell dur­ing the ini­tial stages of plan­ning the attacks. Some Amer­i­can inves­ti­ga­tors and offi­cials have argued that the Ger­mans in the past missed evi­dence that could have stopped the plot. The Ger­mans have main­tained stead­fastly that the infor­ma­tion they had was too scanty to war­rant seri­ous alarm, and that their police and intel­li­gence agen­cies were not focused on Al Qaeda at the time.

The doc­u­ments come from the files of var­i­ous Ger­man police and intel­li­gence agen­cies. They detail how close an inves­ti­ga­tion of Qaeda con­tacts in Ham­burg begun in 1997 by the Con­sti­tu­tional Pro­tec­tion Agency, Germany’s domes­tic intel­li­gence ser­vice, came to the main cell mem­bers. They were pro­vided to The New York Times by some­one with offi­cial access to the files of the con­tin­u­ing inves­ti­ga­tion into the events lead­ing to the Sept. 11 attacks. When the doc­u­ments were described to offi­cials at the Ger­man Inte­rior Min­istry and the con­sti­tu­tional pro­tec­tion police, they declined to answer any ques­tions about them but did not dis­pute their authenticity . . .

. . . . Mr. Motas­sadeq admit­ted that he knew Mr. Atta and other plot­ters and had attended Qaeda train­ing camps in Afghanistan. He has main­tained in trial tes­ti­mony that he did not know that his friends were plan­ning to attack the United States. No evi­dence has been pre­sented at his three-month trial that would reveal when the police first opened an inquiry into Mr. Motas­sadeq. But the intel­li­gence agency doc­u­ments show that by August 1998 he was under sur­veil­lance and that the trail soon led to most of the main par­tic­i­pants in the later attacks. [It was in August of 1998 that President Clinton ordered the cruise missile strike against Bin Laden and the same month that Bin Laden went to a courier system instead of using his cell phone. Note, also, that the head of the Hamburg police at the time the surveillance of the Hamburg cell was in place became head of the BND in 2005!–D.E.]

Accord­ing to the doc­u­ments, the sur­veil­lance was in place on Aug. 29, 1998, when Mr. Motas­sadeq and Mohamed Hay­dar Zam­mar, who had already been iden­ti­fied by police as a sus­pected extrem­ist, met at the Ham­burg home of Said Bahaji. [Ital­ics are Mr. Emory’s] The police mon­i­tored sev­eral other meet­ings between the men in the months that fol­lowed, the doc­u­ments said. The record of the meet­ing shows that police had iden­ti­fied Mr. Bahaji, another per­son sus­pected of being a cell mem­ber and believed to have been inti­mately involved in the plan­ning and logis­tics of the plot, who fled to Pak­istan days before the attacks. Mr. Bahaji later moved in with Mr. Atta and Ramzi bin al-Shibh in the now-infamous apart­ment at 54 Marien­strasse in the Har­burg sec­tion of Hamburg[There are profound indications of a link between Mohamed Atta and the BND–D.E.]. . .

“Europe Mulls Sanctions Against U.S. over Spying” by Frank Jordans and Ciaran Giles [AP]; Ohio.com; 10/28/2013.

. . . . As possible leverage, German authorities cited last wek’s non-binding resolution by the European Parliament to suspend a post-9/11 agreement allowing the Americans access to bank transfer data to track the flow of terrorist money.

German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schmarrenberger said Monday she believed the Americans were using the information to gather economic intelligence apart from terorism and that the deal, popularly known as the SWIFT agreement, should be suspended.

That would represent a sharp rebuke to the United States from some of its closest partners. . . .

Mohamed Atta; Wikipedia.

. . . . In 1990, Atta graduated with a degree in architecture,[15] and joined the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Engineers Syndicate organization.[8] For several months after graduating, Atta worked at the Urban Development Center in Cairo, where he worked on architectural, planning, and building design.[16] In 1990, Atta’s family moved into an 11th floor apartment in Giza.[15][17]

Upon graduating from Cairo University, Atta’s marks were average and insufficient to be accepted into the University’s graduate program. His father insisted he go abroad for graduate studies, and had Atta enroll in a German language program at the Goethe Institute in Cairo.[18] [Italics added.] In 1992, Atta’s father invited a German couple over for dinner while they were visiting Cairo. The German couple ran an exchange program between Germany and Egypt, and suggested that Atta continue his studies in Germany. They offered him a temporary place to live at their house in the city. Mohamed Atta ended up in Germany two weeks later, in July 1992. . . .

Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website by Daniel Domscheit-Berg; English translation copyright 2011 by Crown Publishers [Random House imprint]; ISBN 978-0-307-95191-5; p. 58.

. . . . Using the WikiScanner, one can trace what changes have been made to Wikipdia entries from any given IP address. Employees of the BND had made changes to the entries on military aircraft, nuclear weapons and the BND itself.

 Even more amusing were the “corrections” made to the entries made to the entries on the Goethe Institute,  the German government’s premier institution for promoting German language and culture around the world. Originally, the entry had stated that many Goethe Institute offices had served as unofficial points of contact by the BND. BND employees had altered it to say the exact opposite: “Foreign branches of the Goethe Institute are not used as unofficial homes for the BND.” . . .   

“History of the Carl Duisberg Society”

In the 1920’s, Carl Duisberg, General Director of Bayer AG in Germany, envisioned sending German students to the United States on work-study programs. Duisberg was convinced that international practical training was critical to the growth of German industry. Many of the returning trainees later rose to prominent positions at AEG, Bayer, Bosch, Daimler Benz, and Siemens, bringing with them new methods for mass production, new ideas, and new business practices. Following World War II, alumni from the first exchanges founded the Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft (CDG) in 1949 to help engineers, businessmen and farmers gain international work experience necessary for the rebuilding of Germany . . . .

Excerpt from the Description for FTR #484

. . . . Daniel also notes that some of Atta’s German associates in Florida were sons and daughters of prominent German industrialists. . . .

Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile by Paul Manning; p. 292.

. . . A for­mer CIA con­tract pilot, who once flew the run into Paraguay and Argentina to the Bor­mann ranch described the estate as remote, ‘worth your life unless you entered their air space with the right iden­ti­fi­ca­tion codes. . . .

Welcome to Terrorland: Mohamed Atta & the 9-11 Cover-Up in Florida by Daniel Hopsicker; Madcow Press [HC]; Copyright 2004 by Daniel Hopsicker; ISBN 0-9706591-6-4;. p. 178. Be sure to visit Daniel’s website for ordering information about this book.

. . . Swiss police questioned Yeslam [bin Laden] because one of his companies, Avcon Air Charter, had offered flight training to clients at the Venice flight school attended by some of the hijackers. As a result of what Le Monde called ‘a still unexplained coincidence,’ the pilots of Yeslam bin Laden’s company trained at Huffman Aviation in Florida, the paper stated. ‘I didn’t chose that flight school,’ Yeslam protested. ‘I don’t have contact with my half-brother since over 20 years ago.’ . . .

In the Name of Osama Bin Laden; by Roland Jacquard; Copyright 2002 [SC]; Duke University Press; ISBN 0-8223-2991-3; pp. 17-18.

. . .This company, established by the bin Ladens in 1980, is the flagship for the group’s activities in Europe. It is headed by Yeslam bin Laden, and the board of directors is made up almost exclusively of members of the family clan, except for a Swiss citizen, Baudoin Dunand. This well-known lawyer from French-speaking Switzerland, who is on the boards of several dozen companies, came to public notice in 1983 when he agreed to represent the Swiss banker Francois Genoud, a controversial figure who had been a disciple of Hitler and sole heir of Goebbels’s copyrights before becoming one of the financiers of the FLN during the Algerian War. The friendships of the bin Ladens sometimes seem surprising, but they are logical: Francois Genoud has always been pro-Arab. . . .

“Insidergeschäfte vor den Terroranschlägen in den USA? [Insider Trading Prior to the Terror Attacks in the US?]: Speculating on Terror—Who Profited from the Attacks?” by Rolf Bovier & Pierre Matthias; Bayerische Rundfunk Online (BR-Online); 9/25/2001.

. . . . Financial expert Ernest Backes of Luxembourg has [studied] white-collar crime in the field of banking for many years. According to him, there are indications of unusual transactions with which the groups [associated with] bin Laden could have earned money. ‘You can, for example, examine whether, within a certain time period there’s been an attack against the securities of a given airline company. Since these securities are safe in a ‘clearing system,’ you can’t get an overall view, who the owner was at a given time.’ . . . According to Backes’ information, the trail leads to Switzerland, to the accounts of an organization that was founded by the late lawyer Francois Genoud and evidently still survives. Says Backes, ‘One of the grounds for accusation is that this Swiss attorney had the closest connections with the Bin Laden family, that he was an advisor to the family, one of its investment bankers. It’s known for certain, that he supported terrorism and was the estate executor for Hitler and part of the terror milieu.’ [Emphasis added.]”

“Banking with Bin Laden” by Lucy Komisar [sidebar to “Explosive Revelation$”]In These Times; 3/15/2002.

. . . .In November, U.S. authorities named some banks that had bin Laden accounts, and it put them on a blacklist. One was Al Taqwa, ‘Fear of God,’ registered in the Bahamas with offices in Lugano, Switzerland. Al Taqwa had access to the Clearstream system through its correspondent account with the Banca del Gottardo in Lugano, which has a published Clearstream account (No. 74381). But Bin Laden may have other access to the unpublished system. In what he calls a ‘spectacular discovery,’ Ernest Backes reports that in the weeks before CEO Andre Lussi was forced to leave Clearstream last May, a series of 16 unpublished accounts were opened under the name of the Saudi Investment Company, or SICO, the Geneva holding company of the Saudi Binladen Group, which is run by Osama’s brother Yeslam Binladen (some family members spell the name differently.) Yeslam Binladen insists that he has nothing to do with his brother, but evidence suggests SICO is tied into Osama’s financial network. [Emphasis added.] SICO is associated with Dar Al-Maal-Al-Islami (DMI), an Islamic financial institution also based in Geneva and presided over by Prince Muhammed Al Faisal Al Saoud, a cousin of Saudi King Fahd, that directs millions a year to fundamentalist movements. DMI holds a share of the Al Shamal Islamic Bank of Sudan, which was set up in 1991 and partly financed by $50 million from Osama bin Laden. Furthermore, one of SICO’s administrators, Geneva attorney Baudoin Dunand, is a partner in a law firm, Magnin Dunand & Partners, that set up the Swiss financial services company SBA, a subsidiary of the SBA Bank in Paris, which is controlled by the bin Mahfouz family.”

“World Briefing | Europe: Report On U.S. Spy System” by Suzanne Daley; The New York Times; 9/6/2001.

[Notice when this was published–9/6/2001.–D.E.] . . . The United States-led spying system known as Echelon can monitor virtually every communication in the world — by e-mail, phone or fax — that bounces off a satellite, the European Parliament was told. But in reporting on a yearlong study of the system that was prompted by concern that American companies were using data from the system to gain a competitive edge, Gerhard Schmid, a German member of the Parliament, said that many European countries had similar abilities . . .

UPDATE: Angela Merkel has proposed an EU-wide communications system to guard against NSA and GCHQ spying, while ramping up spying against the U.S.

“Surveillance Revelations: Angela Merkel Proposes European Network to Beat NSA and GCHQ Spying” by Tony Patterson; The Independent [UK]; 2/16/2014.

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany has announced plans to set up a European communications network as part of a broad counter-espionage offensive designed to curb mass surveillance conducted by the US National Security Agency and its British counterpart, GCHQ. . . .

. . . . Announcing the project in her weekly podcast, Ms Merkel said she envisaged setting up a European communications network which would offer protection from NSA surveillance by side-stepping the current arrangement whereby emails and other internet data automatically pass through the United States.

The NSA’s German phone and internet surveillance operation is reported to be one of the biggest in the EU. In co-operation with GCHQ it has direct access to undersea cables carrying transatlantic communications between Europe and the US.

Ms Merkel said she planned to discuss the project with the French President, François Hollande, when she meets him in Paris on Wednesday. “Above all we’ll talk about European providers that offer security to our citizens, so that one shouldn’t have to send emails and other information across the Atlantic,” she said. “Rather one could build up a communications network inside Europe.”

French government officials responded by saying Paris intended to “take up” the German initiative.

Ms Merkel’s proposals appear to be part of a wider German counter-espionage offensive, reported to be under way in several of Germany’s intelligence agencies, against NSA and GCHQ surveillance.

Der Spiegel magazine said on Sunday that it had obtained information about plans by Germany’s main domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, for a “massive” increase in counter-espionage measures.

The magazine said there were plans to subject both the American and British Embassies in Berlin to surveillance. It said the measures would include obtaining exact details about intelligence agents who were accredited as diplomats, and information about the technology being used within the embassies. . . .

 

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