NSA Scandal Warning Are US Facilities in Germany at Greater Risk?
Germany's domestic intelligence agency has warned American sites in the country could be at risk of attack from people angry about the NSA spying scandal. The message has worried officials in Rhineland-Palatinate, where the Ramstein air base is located.
Following recent revelations about NSA spying, SPIEGEL has learned that Germany's Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution recently issued a security warning to authorities in the country's 16 states.
The domestic intelligence agency warned in an Oct. 30 letter that "an emotional response from certain segments of the population cannot be ruled out" and recommended that "security measures aimed at protecting US facilities in Germany should be increased." The agency said the background behind the "potential threat" was ongoing discussions about the "collection of Germans' data by the United States."
The approach by the domestic intelligence has left officials at the Office for the Protection of the Constitution's state-level counterparts baffled.
Hans-Heinrich Preussinger, head of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in the southwestern state of Rhineland-Palatinate, requested urgent clarification from the national agency on whether the warning had been coordinated with the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA). Rhineland-Palatinate is home to US military facilities including the Ramstein air base. Preussinger warned that, "before a massive (security) apparatus is thrown into gear" there needed to be an additional review and analysis of the initial intelligence material.
Preussinger did not receive a reply to his question from federal authorities. As a result Rhineland-Palatinate chose not to step up its security measures.