Berlin denies info leak on nuclear centre

BERLIN • Germany's domestic intelligence agency has denied that its chief told German lawmakers a prime suspect in the Paris attacks had documents about the Juelich German nuclear research centre.

The Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND) media group had cited sources in a parliamentary committee yesterday as saying BfV intelligence agency chief Hans-Georg Maassen had told a committee in March about the Juelich documents.

"This is not right," a BfV spokesman said. "We have no information about this. Our president Maassen never talked to any Members of Parliament."

The media group reported that printouts of articles from the Internet and photos of Juelich chairman Wolfgang Marquardt had been found in the apartment of Salah Abdeslam in the Molenbeek area of Brussels.

Abdeslam, who born and raised in Belgium to Moroccan-born parents, was arrested on March 18 in the Belgian capital.

Four days later, suicide bombers killed 32 people in Brussels airport and a metro train.

The 26-year-old is now in Bruges prison awaiting extradition to France over his suspected involvement in the Nov 13 shooting attacks in Paris.

Concerns that militants are turning their attention to the nuclear industry's weak spots have risen since the Brussels attack.

Juelich is near the Belgian border and atomic waste is stored there. The centre said in a statement that there was no indication of any danger and that it was in contact with security authorities and nuclear supervisors.

RND reported that Mr Maassen had informed the committee in charge of monitoring German intelligence agencies, whose meetings are confidential. Two committee members told Reuters that they had not been informed about the matter.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 15, 2016, with the headline 'Berlin denies info leak on nuclear centre'. Print Edition | Subscribe