Mr Linke was a rising star in Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the BND (Image: Getty)
The individual believed to be responsible for one of the largest intelligence scandals in Europe in recent years has been unmasked as Carsten Linke, a volunteer football coach. The Telegraph has reported that Linke, a 52-year-old father of two, is the suspected Russian double agent arrested for treason in December within Germany‘s foreign intelligence service (BND).
Mr Linke was seen as a promising figure in the BND, managing units focused on foreign communication and internal security.
He is accused of leaking confidential intelligence to Moscow, some of which pertains to Ukraine, according to Der Spiegel.
As a result of Carsten Linke’s arrest, a volunteer football coach, the BND has suffered enormous embarrassment, and there are also questions about how the West’s allies will share intelligence during the continuing war in Ukraine.
Mr Linke was regarded as a rising star within the BND before his arrest and had access to sensitive information given by Western spies.
Ukraine war: Mr Linke is suspected of providing Moscow with top-secret intelligence (Image: Getty)
Russian spy at the centre of the largest European intelligence crisis in decades unmasked (Image: Getty)
It has been claimed that with the assistance of a courier, Mr Linke used his position to secretly pass information to Moscow on two separate instances.
However, in his hometown of Weilheim in Bavaria, the individual was known as an involved member of the community.
He was involved in the local football club, serving as a coach for several youth teams and would tell anyone who asked that he was in the military.
The Telegraph has reported that this individual organized a barbecue event at the club where he met a Russian-German businessman who would later become a suspected courier for his spy activities.
On his trips to Moscow, Arthur E, whose full identification cannot be disclosed due to German privacy laws, is believed to have provided Russia‘s FSB agency with confidential intelligence related to the conflict in Ukraine.
Arthur E is said to be working with the authorities, informing them that he received money for his actions.
Mr Linke’s lawyer has not made any statements yet.
The German authorities are trying to determine if Linke was part of a bigger network within the BND or if he acted independently.
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Residents of Weilheim town reported that Mr. Linke was well-known for his dedication to the local football club, but also had a habit of disappearing for extended periods.
His coaching peers described him as a mentor and authority figure for the young players under his guidance.
The identity of Mr Linke was disclosed as European leaders visited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.
During the summit, the European Union expressed support for Ukraine but did not set any firm deadlines for its potential membership in the bloc. This visit took place just a few weeks before the one-year anniversary of the start of the war on February 24th.