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Syria - Berlin embassy runs spy network

16 February 2012, 08:20

Berlin - Syria is operating a spy network from its embassy in Berlin that keeps informers under control through blackmail, the top domestic intelligence official of the city-state of Berlin said on Wednesday.

Claudia Schmid, head of Berlin's spy agency, made the remarks during a briefing of the city legislature a week after German authorities expelled four Syrian diplomats. Her remarks confirmed suspicions that the four were expelled for spying on Syrian exiles.

Schmid did not specify whether the expulsions and arrests had closed down the spy ring, but she said Syrian intelligence agents at the embassy actively recruited informers among the exiles.

She said embassy officials blackmailed informers, who have family members back in Syria.

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