TIME Germany

A German ‘Triple Agent’ Has Been Jailed for Spying

Sven Hoppe—;AFP/Getty Images Markus Reichel, a former employee of Germany's Federal Intelligence Service, arrives for his trial at the higher regional court in Munich on March 17, 2016

Markus Reichel, who worked in the mail room at Germany's intelligence agency, passed classified documents to the U.S. and Russians

In a tale of espionage that sounds like it came out of Cold War, a German man attempting to be a triple agent has been sentenced by a Munich court to eight years in prison for spying and treason.

Markus Reichel passed over 200 classified documents the U.S. while working in the mail room of Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service until his arrest in July 2014, according to Euronews. He said he felt unappreciated.

Reichel, it seems, was an indiscriminate mole. He also sent the Russian consulate in Munich an email with three classified files attached, Euronews reports. The message designed to prove his credibility and solicit work, however, ultimately became his undoing. The communiqué was intercepted and his activities were exposed.

At the time of his arrest, Euronews recounts, U.S.-German relations were strained over whistle-blower Edward Snowden’s revelations that Washington had been carrying out extensive snooping operations in Germany.


Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team