Tensions between the US and Germany escalated further this week when Germany gave the top CIA official stationed in the country the boot. The decision followed allegations that two Germans had been recruited to covertly feed information to American intelligence services.
The two countries have been close allies for decades
Last week, German officials arrested a 31-year-old German intelligence officer for sharing secrets with the CIA, and just yesterday a German man's Berlin-area apartment was raided as part of a second spying investigation. President Barack Obama was apparently kept in the dark about the CIA operations. The allegations come after a bombshell report from German newspaper Der Spiegel last year showing the National Security Agency had spied on Chancellor Angela Merkel's private phone since 2002.
The BBC reports that the person expelled from the country was a CIA official, but few details are known beyond that. German officials said the decision came after Washington had failed to cooperate on investigations into spying, from both last year's NSA revelations and this week's string of spying scandals. The White House has so far stayed silent on the latest espionage.
The spying is a bizarre twist in the relationship between two countries that have been close allies for decades. Merkel appeared to be simultaneously trying to condemn the US' spying while salvaging the countries' ties, reportedly saying that spying on allies was a "waste of energy."