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Suspected German double agent ‘tried to give Russia coordinates of Himars rocket launchers’

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The suspected double agent at the top of Germany’s spy service was tasked by Moscow with finding out the position of Western Himars rocket launchers in Ukraine, according to a report. 

Russia’s FSB spy service asked Carsten Linke last autumn via a courier to pass on precise information on the positioning of the Himars and Iris-T rocket systems that had been supplied to Ukraine by the US and Germany, Der Spiegel reported on Friday.

German prosecutors are said to believe that it is unlikely that Mr Linke was able to pass on the information.

In return, the FSB likely paid the suspected German spy in cash. Investigators have found an envelope with a six figure sum in euros in a locker that belonged to him, the magazine reports. 

Mr Linke, 52, a senior agent at the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, was arrested shortly before Christmas.

He is now being investigated on suspicion of treason after prosecutors identified him as the source of a leak of top secret intelligence to Moscow.

Linke had ‘far-Right sympathies’ 

According to Der Spiegel, colleagues at the intelligence service knew that he had far-Right sympathies.

His political leanings were also known to the agency after they conducted a background check on him, the magazine claims.

At least one colleague said during the background check that Mr Linke had become ever more far-right in his political beliefs and made no secret of his contempt for government ministers such as foreign minister Annalena Baerbock.

Nonetheless, he passed through the background check and was promoted shortly before his arrest to head of the department responsible for conducting such checks.

Analysts have said that he could have used this position to pass on delicate information on other agents that Moscow could have used to attempt to blackmail them.

Mr Linke is believed to have made copies of the intelligence by taking photographs on his mobile phone, printing these out and passing them to a courier who took them to Moscow.