A German who was caught by authorities for allegedly sharing intelligence secrets on radical Islamic websites was a former gay porn actor, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
German officials investigating the matter in online Islamist chat rooms linked the arrested intelligence agent’s user name to a former stage name he had used as an adult entertainment actor.
“How should anyone have known this? He had acted under different names and identities online,” a senior Bundesverfassungsschutz (BfV) official told the Washington Post. “Not his real name.
One has to say that we were able to find out about all this very quickly and also actions were taken fast.”
The German citizen was employed by Germany’s domestic intelligence agency had been arrested on accusations that he made Islamist declarations on the internet and revealed internal agency material, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters on Wednesday.
A spokesman for the BfV declined to provide details on the man’s position at the agency or say when he joined. He also declined to comment on a report in Die Welt newspaper that the 51-year-old had planned to explode a bomb at the agency’s central office in Cologne.
The suspected mole also offered to share sensitive data about the BfV which could have endangered the agency’s work, a spokesman said, without elaborating.
“The suspect is a middle-aged male German citizen who was only hired a short while ago,” Interior Minister de Maiziere said during a routine meeting of the country’s interior ministers.
“During the application procedure, his training and the actual job he acted free from suspicion until he was unmasked by Bundesverfassungsschutz employees during chats. This is a good accomplishment,” de Maiziere added.
Der Spiegel magazine reported on its website that the agency first became aware of the man’s activities about four weeks ago.
The spokesman said the suspect had not previously attracted attention, adding: “The man behaved inconspicuously during his employment process, training and in his area of responsibility.”
German authorities have ramped up their surveillance of potential militant Islamist groups and individuals after two attacks claimed by the Islamic State group in July.
The BfV estimates there are about 40,000 Islamists in Germany, including 9,200 ultra-conservative Islamists known as Salafists, Hans-Georg Maassen, who leads the agency, told Reuters in an interview earlier this month.
Police have arrested several suspected Islamic State sympathizers in recent weeks, including a 20-year-old Syrian refugee who had tried to cross into Denmark with potential bomb-making materials.