Germany's government has limited the type of information that its intelligence services will pass to their American counterparts, a dangerous game for the West's mutually dependant intelligence agencies, according to Der Spiegel. The action was a response to mounting pressure on Germany's ruling CDU party after American drone strikes killed German Islamists abroad, following the transfer of German intelligence information.
The breakdown could be problematic for both intelligence agencies. German intelligence relies heavily on American information, such as in the case of a Düsseldorf terror cell headed by Moroccan national Abdeladim el-K. American services rely on German information and cooperation, in addition to Germany's key role as an ally in the war on terror.
"There are many indications that the German government is contributing to these attacks," said Green Party MP Hans-Christian Ströbele. "This would make it partially responsible for such killings." Local Amnesty International leaders are also demanding the government make clear the role German federal police and the BFV intelligence agency.
Launching drone attacks is controversial in Germany, which is concerned about violating the sovereignty of other nations and killing civilians as collateral damage. "At the same time, the [German] public has been alarmed over the treatment of prisoners at the Guantanamo detention camp, the use of torture-like methods during interrogations and the spiriting away of suspected terrorists to covert prisons," Der Spiegel reports.
Some German politicians even think of the attacks as extralegal strikes, such as Left Party parliamentarian Wolfgang Neškovi's comment that the strikes are "Washington's fire and brimstone against America's enemies."
The situation could get nastier. An investigation in Germany over the death of an Islamist killed by American drone strikes could result in charges against unnamed Americans. German intelligence insists that language it used in transferring information indicated that they did not want American forces to target their citizens.