The level of espionage is as high as it was during the Cold War, if not higher, said German intelligence agency (BfV) Thomas Haldenwang, Reuters reported.
He also warned of an increased risk of sabotage amid the war in Ukraine. "Today, we assess the level of espionage against Germany at least at the level of the Cold War -- if not significantly higher,” Haldenwang said at an event in Berlin.
He predicted that "in a world of open hostilities and drastic sanctions, the inhibition threshold for espionage, sabotage and illegitimate influence will continue to fall.”
The BfV has stepped up its monitoring of the activities of extremist groups and individuals seeking to question the legitimacy of the state in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine. Haldenwang said the risk associated with such movements has been heightened by foreign powers seeking to promote anti-government propaganda through disinformation.
Senior German security official, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser accused Russian President Vladimir Putin "of fueling the idea of Russophobia in the West since the start of the war in Ukraine."