A NATO civilian worker arrested last week on suspicion of espionage in western Germany has been linked to Russian intelligence, The Times reported on Monday.
The 60-year-old NATO employee at the Ramstein Air Force Base, whose name was given only as Manfred K., was offered over $10 million by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) for access to classified information, the paper said citing a German journalist.
The prosecutor's office in the southwestern German city of Karlsruhe said last Tuesday Manfred K. was believed to have stolen "state secrets" for unidentified "third parties."
He is believed to have illegally acquired, as a NATO civilian employee, classified data belonging to his employer at the U.S. armed forces air base at Ramstein and to have copied it onto his personal computer, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
"It is suspected that this was done with the intention of passing the obtained data on to unauthorized third parties."
The Ramstein Air Base, located in the German state of Rheinland-Pfalz, is the headquarters of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) and one of NATO’s two air command headquarters. The other one is located in Izmir, Turkey.
In February, NATO officials announced plans to turn the Ramstein base into a command and control hub for the alliance’s European missile defense forces.