August Hanning

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Person.png August Hanning   AlchetronRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
August Hanning.jpg
Born16 February 1946
Nordwalde, Westphalia, Germany
Member ofCounter Extremism Project, Institute for Strategic Dialogue, United Against Nuclear Iran
Former BND chief

Employment.png BND/President

In office
17 December 1998 - 30 November 2005
Preceded byHansjörg Geiger
Succeeded byErnst Uhrlau

August Hanning is the former president of the German spy service BND.

Education and Career

Hanning studied law in Freiburg and Münster. He took a doctorate in Münster. From 1976 he worked as a consultant in the financial administration of North Rhine-Westphalia, from 1977 he worked as a consultant in the Federal Ministry of the Interior. In 1981 he moved to the Federal Chancellery in Bonn, where he initially worked in the environmental department.

From 1986 to 1990, Hanning was a secret protection officer at the West German Permanent Mission in East Germany. In this role, he was also responsible for exchanging prisoners for cash. In 1990 he moved back to the Federal Chancellery, where he became a close employee of the intelligence leader Bernd Schmidbauer. In 1996 he was appointed department head.

On December 17, 1998, he succeeded Hansjörg Geiger as President of the Federal Intelligence Service. During his tenure, the decision was made to move the BND from its traditional headquarters at Pullach to Berlin. Hanning was of the opinion that the secret service should also be locally close to the government, and commissioned a huge and conspicuous new headquarters in central Berlin.

On December 1, 2005, Hanning was appointed State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of the Interior, with responsibility for police matters, internal security, migration, integration, refugees, European harmonization, crisis management and other things. He was pensioned on November 10, 2009. His successor was Klaus-Dieter Fritsche.

Weapons of mass destruction in Iraq

In December 2002, Hanning wrote to the head of the CIA, George Tenet, telling that the informant Curveball's information about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction could not be confirmed.[1] Nevertheless, US Secretary of State Colin Powell presented this uncertain source to the UN Security Council in February 2003 as the rationale for the Iraq war.


In the case of Murat Kurnaz, a Turkish citizen born and raised in Germany and detained in the Guantanamo concentration camp from 2002 to 2006, Hanning spoke out against Kurnaz's return to Germany in 2002 when the Americans offered to release Kurnaz. Even the BND became convinced that Kurnaz was completely innocent, after 'questioning' him in 2002 in Guantanamo. By speaking in favor of "an entry ban for Germany"[2], Hanning had however advocated that the United States should deport Kurnaz to Turkey and not to Germany, presumbaly to cover up for the torture allegations. The United States would then withdraw the offer.

Investigative committees of the Bundestag ("Committee on the investigation into the alleged spying on journalists by the BND" and "Committee on the investigation of BND activities in Iraq and CIA flights domestically") wanted to hear Hanning as a witness. [3]

Against migration

In October 2015, Hanning spoke up with a “10-point program” in which he outlined the measures the German government should use in the “current migration crisis”. For Hanning, regaining control over German borders was the most important measure, alongside the "strict application of national and supranational law". He also asked for the "restriction of family reunification" and a "residence obligation for migrants, combined with benefit cuts or the exclusion of benefits in the event of violation of the residence obligation".[4]


Together with his wife, he runs the company Hanning Consult, which has an equity of over one million euros. He is also head of the Russia section of the British consulting firm G3, member of the management of the security company System 360 AG and president of the System 360 AG parent company Pluteos AG.[5]

He is member of United Against a Nuclear Iran.

His English Wikipedia entry has been blanked sometime between 2019-2020.