The Results Were Deadly

BERLIN/BAGDAD | | irakafghanistaniransyrien

BERLIN/BAGDAD ( - Germany participated in the aggression against Iraq and therefore, within the course of a few years, committed a second time, criminal violations of the UN Charter. As in the case of the Yugoslavia bombardment, in violation of international law, it was also the Schroeder-Fischer government that committed this breach of international accords and the German Constitution regarding Iraq. The direct participation in the aggression was admitted by Dr. August Hanning, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of the Interior and ex-director of the BND (Federal Intelligence Service), the foreign espionage service. Hanning admitted to the active participation of several German agents in the war. The preparatory work of the Federal Intelligence Service for the US assault was possible because of many decades of secret service co-operation and could draw on its exclusive connections. According to secret service specialists, the BND remains far superior to its western partner services in espionage of the Arab speaking states. The BND's outstanding knowledge is based on traditional links, which go back to the First World War and since 1945 to the revitalization of old Nazi connections. In addition to Iraq, this pertains also to Syria, another recipient of western threats to overthrow the government.

The BND's activity as supplier for the US invasion troops and their allies has, in the meantime, been basically confirmed by German secret service headquarters. The activities admitted to by the BND, concerned pinpointing worthwhile bombing targets while weeding out others. Those in charge, would like to have it believed, that through their targeting of the bombings, a sort of humanitarian steering control was being exercised. According to press reports, German agents' participation in Baghdad was not only indirect, they also directly took part in determining targets. Particularly serious is the accusation that BND agents had been involved in the preparations of a bombing attack aimed unsuccessfully at the Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein. Also information of Iraqi military troop movements and defense positions are supposed to have been transmitted by German agents to the US military by way of BND headquarters and through other intermediaries.[1] As reported several months ago by sources in the US, German espionage stations had contributed, already in the initial phases, to the legitimacy of going to war. This considerably helped to deceive the UN Security Council.[2] Those who were politically responsible at the time are still active in top positions and work today in the Ministry of the Interior (August Hanning), in the directorate of the espionage apparatus (Ernst Uhrlau, at the time secret service coordinator in the Federal Chancellor's Office) as well as in the Foreign Ministry (Frank-Walter Steinmeier, at that time Federal Government Intelligence Service Coordinator).[3]

Chemical Weapons

The exclusive BND knowledge that the BND headquarters, directly or by way of intermediaries, could place at the disposal of the US invasion troops, is based on many decades of close cooperation between the German secret service and the government of Iraq. According to uncontradicted reports, the BND president at that time, Klaus Kinkel, who later became Foreign Minister, as far back as the summer of 1979, initiated in Germany the training of Iraqi agents. The BND also furnished the government in Baghdad with the personal data on members of the Iraqi opposition.[4] Kinkel later additionally offered arms supplies as well as training of Iraqi policemen.[5] The BND directed, Telemit company, alone, exported military material valued at approximately 100 million DM to Iraq. More than half of all foreign enterprises, which had contributed to Iraq's arsenal during the 1980s, were German.[6] Iraqi policemen were trained in 1982 in Germany. Their instruction included the "use of various kinds of chemical weapons".[7]

More carefully

According to information furnished to by the secret service expert, Erich Schmidt-Eenboom, the Germans were "with the intelligence contacts to the Arab world (...) always far better than the Americans or their European rivals".[8] Among others, these contacts are with Syria, in whose capital the BND, in 1989, established an officially recognized office. As Schmidt-Eenboom explains, Syria became "more careful" with secret service co-operation with the Germans after the recent US assault on Iraq. But this certainly does not hamper the trusting cooperation in the torture detention of the German citizen, Haydar Zammar. Zammar, was interrogated in a Syrian prison by German secret service agents in 2002.

"Advisor in Jewish Affairs"

West German secret service cooperation with Damascus goes back to the 1950s. At that time the former SS Obersturmbannfuehrer, Alois Brunner, who was directly responsible for the mass murder of European Jews, escaped prosecution, with the help of the German espionage chief Reinhard Gehlen by fleeing to Syria. There, Brunner became a secret service expert for the Near East. Brunner, working for BND-forerunner "Organization Gehlen," took also part in the setting up the Egyptian secret service.[9] In Syria he was also occasionally considered an "advisor in Jewish affairs".[10]

Shuttle traffic

Brunners entrée into the Middle East agent scene was followed by the introduction of German secret service agents into practically all Arab states. In Baghdad, the work was considered difficult for a long time, because the Iraqi Baath regime appeared to be more self-confident than its Syrian counterpart and knew better to make use of the cold war conflict to its advantage. At times the secret services of both German states were operating parallel in Baghdad and thereby stalemating each other. When BND activity in the Iraqi capital had to be reduced or a complete withdrawal of its agents became necessary, the espionage leadership retreated to Afghanistan among other places - as is also the case during Iraq's current occupation. The shuttle traffic between Baghdad and Kabul is legendary and, considering facts, recently made known, could become more frequent.

Base Kabul

Alternate bases of operations in Baghdad and Kabul are among the standard repertoire of German espionage. Already 1917 German agents fled to Afghanistan when the Iraqi capital, became unsafe, where they - like today - continued their business of fomenting war. The group around knight Oskar von Niedermayer had the task of goading the Afghan leadership into declaring a holy war against Russia and Great Britain. The anti-colonial attitude of the Germans, who presented themselves as freedom fighters and opponents to western wars of conquest, won them much sympathy; which they put to use after the conflict. Beginning in 1920, Berlin's agents' activities, carried out under camouflage of civilian projects, were expanded. They recruited graduates of the German-language "Maktab al Nedjat" high school in Kabul. This institute created in 1924 had over 900 Afghan pupils by 1938, from whom many informants and long-term agents were recruited. The new recruit's final certification of qualification was made during a period of study in Berlin. Another source of domestic agents for the Nazi regime was recruited from the German sponsored general staff school in Kabul, which was a supplement to an Afghan police school and which was directed by a major of the German police.


Sectors of the Afghan agent network remained intact even after 1945 and formed the basis for the jaws of an espionage vice around Baghdad, operating from the east - Kabul and from the west - Damascus. With the Teheran Connection, which blossomed under Shah Reza Pahlevi and whose notorious secret service, SAVAK, was a German partner service, the BND's vice could be extended to a Damascus-Teheran-Kabul triangle. Despite the Central Asian and Middle Eastern power fluctuations, German espionage has logistical capabilities at its disposal, that made it a coveted "service enterprise," in the planning and execution phase of the invasion of Iraq. None of the aggressors had the historical relations that Berlin has. None could deceive the victims to such an extent, because in Baghdad one still believed in the anti-colonial and anti-western foundation of German foreign policy.


As the mission of the archaeologist Susanne Osthoff - thwarted through her being taken hostage - demonstrates, the deceptive image of German foreign policy, committing itself to the altruistic love of peace, is still very current in Arab states.[11] From this myth German espionage has already profited in the Osthoff case. More serious and dreadful for those concerned, was the deception of the Iraqi population, carried out on the eve of the aggression, as the whereabouts of German secret service agents in Baghdad was not placed in question. The results were deadly.

[1] Kampfhilfen aus Pullach; Süddeutsche Zeitung 13.01.2006. BND meldete den Amerikanern auch Truppenbewegungen; Spiegel Online 14.01.2006
[2] see also Bloßgestellt
[3] see also Straflosigkeit und Eskalation
[4] Bundestags-Drucksache 13/4374 vom 17.04.1996
[5] Erich Schmidt-Eenboom: Schnüffler ohne Nase. Der BND - die unheimliche Macht im Staate, Düsseldorf 1993
[6] see also Deutschland: Bedeutendster Waffenlieferant des Irak and "Gängige Kaliber
[7] Der Exportweltmeister als Todeshändler. Die Beteiligung der Bundesrepublik an der Aufrüstung des Irak; epd-Entwicklungspolitik 15/2002
[8] see also Interview mit Erich Schmidt-Eenboom
[9] see also Ankerland
[10] Georg Hafner, Esther Schapira: Die Akte Alois Brunner, Frankfurt am Main 2000
[11] see also Rückzugsgebiet and Lügen