A German military officer arrested for allegedly spying for Russia is said to have done so out of “frustration”, German media outlets have reported.
“Thomas H”, who is said to have worked for the Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Utilisation of the Bundeswehr (armed forces) was taken into custody on August 9 over suspicions he was aiming to pass sensitive information to Moscow.
According to a report by German news outlet Der Spiegel, Thomas H is thought to have been unhappy within the ranks of the German military and “may have just wanted to make himself important by trying to contact the Russian secret services”.
German intelligence officials claim they became aware of the “security threat” early on, with authorities reportedly being tipped off after Thomas H sent an email to the Russian consulate general.
The Bundeswehr officer is said to have had access to sensitive information regarding Western NATO systems, such as the US F-35 fighter jet and the Israeli Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile system.
“The threat of espionage, disinformation campaigns and cyber-attacks has taken on another dimension,” Germany’s interior minister Nancy Faeser remarked regarding the situation.
Vladimir Putin has now strengthened his position as the perceived guarantor of Russia’s internal stability, and has neutralised the loose cannon that was Wagner under Prigozhin, writes @GElefteriu. https://t.co/n2ylTG3XuH
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) June 28, 2023
This is not the first time Germany has picked up its own officers allegedly looking to spy for Russia.
Last December, Germany arrested a foreign intelligence service member on suspicion he was passing information to Moscow.
Many say the poor state of the German Bundeswehr has not helped, with numerous reports indicating that the country’s armed forces are experiencing a “dangerous decline in morale”.
Officials are struggling to recruit enough new soldiers to keep the army functioning, with some suggesting that the Bundeswehr should lower its standards to bring in more cadets.
“This is a generation of downsizing,” German defence chief General Carsten Breuer remarked, adding that the country’s authorities “have to rethink [the situation] now”.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier says his country should not try to “block” America from sending such arms to Ukraine. https://t.co/EGqJtgTX1a
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) July 10, 2023