“Military shield service.” Germany’s military intelligence agency, for which Wikipedia gives the following numbers:
– about 1250 civil and military employees
– central office in Cologne with twelve branch offices around the country
In October 2010 the Bundestag’s confidential committee (“Vertrauensgremium”) responsible for budgetary oversight of the three national intelligence services Bundesnachrichtendienst (foreign intelligence), federal Verfassungsschutz (domestic intelligence) and Militärischer Abschirmdienst (military intelligence) asked the federal government to review whether more efficiency could be achieved by giving the military intelligence service’s remit to the Bundesnachrichtendienst and federal Verfassungsschutz. Because this proposal was not supported by the SPD, Green Party and Leftists (Die Linken), it appears the query was made by (and to) the parties in Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition. In July 2012, it was reported that Merkel’s coalition partner the FDP party had openly called for reform of Germany’s intelligence agencies and elimination of MAD. This time it was supported by the Green Party and Leftists (Die Linken). The SPD said they at least wanted the current system to be reviewed. Merkel’s CDU/CSU party wanted to maintain the system as was.
In June 2012, there were reports that MAD too had paid informants in the right-wing German group from which the neonazi serial-killer cell arose (and that some of this money was passed on to the underground cell to support them in their life on the run). It was unclear why military intelligence was involved in this. When the terrorist cell disappeared from one location, MAD received a tip about their new hideout but kept the tip to itself for some reason. In July 2012 the chair of the Berlin committee investigating the neonazi serial killers, Bundestag member Sebastian Edathy (SPD), complained that MAD was not sending his committee their relevant files.
Update on 12 Sept. 2012: Despite being asked multiple times by many Bundestag members for all its information on the neonazi serial killers, on 11 Sept. 2012, in response to a written request by a Green Party Bundestag member, MAD made a surprise announcement that they’d actually started a file on one of the killers in 1995, after he drew attention for right-wing extremist behavior during his mandatory military service and MAD apparently wanted to recruit him as an informant. MAD has known about this file since March 2012. MAD destroyed this file but copies of its contents were found in some Verfassungsschutz offices, including that the guy was asked if he wanted to supply information on the right-wing scene to MAD. MAD’s president says no way did MAD ever intend to acquire the guy as a source–they just wanted to know if he’d bettered his ways–and that they didn’t lie about having the file because they didn’t have the file because they’d shredded it.
This may be nothing, but MAD said when they interviewed the neonazi serial killer in 1995 he was part of a group of six interviewees. On the recovered copy of the shredded interview, I think I saw that the guy was identified as number (6). MAD might be understating how many people they interviewed.
(Meal eat TARE ish er OB shirm deenst.)