Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Germany arrests spy working for their inteligence agency who was trying to pass on information to Jihadists.

German Intelligence Agency office in Cologne. EPA/Washington Post.

Germany has arrested a spy working for their main intelligence service who is accused of passing on information to Jihadists. Washington Post. The man worked for the German Intelligence Agency (BfV) and was leading a secret double life. Not only was the man a star in homosexual pornographic films as recently as 2011, he also secretly converted to Islam in 2014, despite the fact that he was married with four kids. The man, who's name is being withheld by the BfV, has been charged with conspiring to commit a violent act and violating state secrecy laws. He had entered a chatroom used by Jihadists and tried to pass on information on how terrorists could strike at the BfV, but was intercepted by coworkers who were monitoring the chatroom. The man was a recent hire tasked with monitoring the very Muslims that he tried to help and serious questions are being raised about the vetting process that somehow missed the fact that he was not only a gay pornstar but also a crypto-Muslim.

My Comment:
What a bizarre story. A family man not only lived a secret life as a homosexual pornstar but he then converted to Islam and then got hired by the German equivalent of the FBI. Once there, he betrays them and gets caught. If I hadn't read the story from multiple sources, I wouldn't believe it myself. Indeed, it sounds like something out of a bad thriller movie. 

One thing is for sure though. The people in charge of vetting this person failed and failed miserably. Though I am sure the Germans, as liberal and "open minded" as they are wouldn't disqualify someone for acting in a gay porn, they probably should have found the fact that he was living a double life. I doubt his kids and wife knew that he acted in a pornographic film or two, so that leaves him completely open to blackmail. He never should have been hired. Even if he hadn't been a secret Muslim trying to pass on information to Jihadists. 

Finding out that he was an Islamic convert is even stranger. Indeed, you would think the last person to convert to Islam and help terrorist groups would be a guy that started in a gay film. After all, Islam has a very negative view of homosexuality, with it being a capital crime in some Islamic countries and frowned upon everywhere else. And the people he was trying to help, presumably ISIS or a related group, hate gays so much that they like to murder them by throwing them off of buildings... or worse. 

I don't know exactly how much leeway there is in the various strains of Islam for homosexuality. I know in Afghanistan, rape of boys by older men is common and nobody seems to care about it even though that's way worse then being gay, even by their standards. On the other had though, ISIS murders gay people and Islamic countries oppress the LGBT community pretty heavily. With that being said, I honestly don't know if helping to plan a terror attack would redeem this guy in the eyes of a radical Muslim. I can't honestly believe that it would redeem him in the eyes of a radical Jihadist, but I also think that ISIS and other terror groups are certainly capable of being hypocrites on the issue... Either way, it's a strange twist in an already disturbing case.

I am also concerned that crypto-Muslim sleeper agents could start to be a thing. That is what happened in this case. He converted in secret and then joined the BfV to do as much harm as possible. Such a strategy probably would have worked if he had been smarter about trying to contact Jihadists. He made a huge mistake by chatting somewhere he knew or should have known that his coworkers were monitoring. As always, our best ally against Islamic terrorism is the stupidity of terrorists.

Still, I wonder how common this kind of thing is. There are a lot of people that work in critical areas like this who either convert in secret of harbor Jihadists views that they do not share openly. Since Islamic terrorism is the hot button issue people who are Muslim or speak Middle Eastern languages are in high demand. The problem is that many of them could be double agents. Though this guy trying to start a terrorist attack, who is to say what else he could have done while employed at the BfD? 

Of course, this is nothing new at all. Double agents have been a thing since the beginning of human conflict. It happened all the time during the Cold War, so it shouldn't be shocking that it continues into the war on terror. People will always find reasons to betray their countries. Sometimes it's for something as simple as cash. Other times it is because of poor treatment. Some do it just for the thrill of it. But I think that anyone betraying to ISIS or other terrorist organizations are going to be doing it for ideology... 

What can be done about it? Other then what we do already? Not much. We just have to keep a close eye on the people we trust to keep us safe. We need people to watch the watchers, which makes what this man's coworkers did so important. People, even in the highest echelons of government, need to speak up when they find something suspicious and make sure that sleeper agents don't cause to much damage. 

And this man could have done massive damage to the BfV. If he had succeeded in contacting Jihadists, he could have given them the keys to the kingdom. Not only could he have planned a devastating strike that would have left German intelligence in shambles and many people dead and injured, he could have fed ISIS, or whoever he was trying to get in contact with, critical information on how to avoid detection. I can't understate how dangerous this situation could have been... Let's hope that we keep being this lucky.

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