Kosovo’s dirty secret: the background to Germany’s Secret Service affair
By Peter Schwarz
Global Research, December 1, 2008
World Socialist Web Site
The arrest of three German secret service agents in Kosovo exposes the sort of society that has been developed with German and American support in this former part of Yugoslavia—one mired in corruption, organised crime and secret service plots.
The affair began on November 14, when a bomb exploded outside the office of the European Union special representative, Pieter Feith, in Kosovo’s capital, Pristina. The building was damaged but no one was hurt. Immediately afterward in a neighbouring building, a German man, Andreas J., was observed and questioned by the Kosovan security forces, and unmasked as an agent of Germany’s Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND, Secret Service). This is according to the public prosecutor’s office. German sources, however, claim that Andreas J. only came to the scene four hours after the explosion to take photographs.
Normally, such secret service affairs between friendly governments are settled quietly and discreetly, usually by the departure of the unmasked agents. Not so in this case. Last week, the police arrested Andreas J. and two additional BND agents, accusing them of having planted the bomb at the EU’s International Civilian Office (ICO) building.
The case has received enormous attention and has led to a diplomatic crisis between Berlin and Pristina. Pictures of those arrested were shown on Kosovan TV and on the front pages of the press, complete with rumours whose source was thought to be the office of Prime Minister Hashim Thaci. It was claimed that the public prosecutor’s office possessed a video showing Andreas J. throwing the explosive device at the ICO building. However, various witnesses who claim to have seen the video say it is not possible to clearly identify anyone on the tape. Thaci, for his part, completely denies any involvement and says the whole affair is a matter for the allegedly independent Kosovan justice system.
Speculation has since been rife about the background to the case, but it is doubtful whether it will ever be clarified. Kosovo is a jungle of rival secret services. In this regard, it resembles Berlin before the fall of the Wall. The US, Germany, Britain, Italy and France all have considerable intelligence operations in the country, which work both with and against one another. Moreover, in this country of just 2.1 million inhabitants, some 15,000 NATO soldiers and 1,500 UN police officers are stationed, as well as 400 judges, police officers and security officers belonging to the UN’s EULEX mission.