BERLIN — Germany’s foreign intelligence chief Ernst Uhrlau Tuesday admitted that blueprints for his service’s new headquarters in Berlin had been stolen, but played down the danger posed by the loss.
The missing blueprints are those of a parking area and of a “power generating centre”, not those “at the heart” of BND intelligence-gathering offices currently under construction and due for completion in 2014, Uhrlau told reporters.
There was no reason to amend building plans, he added.
He did not know when the blueprints, kept at the building site, vanished, saying only that “at some point it appears something went missing”.
The documents were labelled confidential, but not top secret, he added.
The government had announced on Monday that the BND was investigating the loss.
The BND has its headquarters in Pullach, on the outskirts of the southern city of Munich. Following reunification it was decided however to move them to Berlin and building started there in 2006.
Construction on the site in the former communist east of the city is expected to cost 1.6 billion euros ($2.2 billion).
The BND, one of Germany’s three secret services, is responsible for gathering intelligence abroad.
Race to remember Berlin Wall victims, 30 years on
Where guard towers and barbed wire once stood, runners pounded the 100-mile (160 kilometer) path along the former Berlin Wall this weekend in a race with victims of the Cold War relic at its heart.
On Saturday at 6:00 am (0400 GMT), around 500 runners, started the 8th edition of the Berlin Wall Race, ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Wall's demise this November.
With weary legs, most runners will jog through Saturday night, aiming to reach the city centre stadium which doubles as both start and finish, in the early hours of Sunday.
The race is part ultra-marathon, part tribute to those who died trying to cross the Wall, which the East German communist regime hastily erected in 1961 and stood for 28 years.
Greenland isn’t for sale but it is increasingly valuable*
President Donald Trump's reported wish to buy Greenland may have been rejected by Denmark, but it underscores the rapidly rising value of the massive, ice-covered island due to global warming and to China's drive for an Arctic presence.
The accelerating polar ice melt has left sparsely populated Greenland, a self-governing part of Denmark, astride what are potentially major shipping routes and in the crosshairs of intensifying geopolitical competition between superpowers.
It also has untapped natural resources like oil, minerals and valuable rare earth elements that China, the United States and other major tech economies covet.
US issues warrant for seizure of Iranian tanker in Gibraltar
The US Justice Department issued a warrant Friday for the seizure of the Iranian oil supertanker Grace 1, one day after a Gibraltar judge allowed the release of the detained vessel.
The Justice Department alleged the ship was part of a scheme "to unlawfully access the US financial system to support illicit shipments to Syria from Iran by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps," which the US has designated a foreign terrorist organization.
The warrant says the vessel, which remained anchored in the British Mediterranean territory late Friday, and all the oil aboard are subject to forfeiture based on violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as well as bank fraud, money laundering, and terrorism statutes.