|Formation||1 April 1956|
|Headquarters||Pullach and Berlin (starting 2014)|
Incumbent: Bruno Kahl
Since 1 July 2016
The U.S. army intelligence (CIC) working in Germany 1945 was interested in Gehlen's files which he hid at the end of World War II before contacting CIC. The common enemy was now communist Russia and Gehlen had sensitive information on them. In Operation Rusty the CIC recruited and funded the former German service. One of the many released memos under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act read:
"[...] my meeting with General Gehlen, June, 1945 [...]
Colonel Philip was very favorably impressed with Gehlen's men and their intelligence capabilities. He agreed that they would be a desirable unit working for General Siebert as Theater G-2 [Red Army controlled areas] and thenceforth supported the project to the fullest.
In order to keep up the morale of the Gehlen Group, we arranged that those who were within a day's visit of their family should visit their homes. In the case of those who were further removed, I arranged to have Lt. Landauer make a round trip, taking letters and a few items of American stores to their families.
[...]General Siebert wanted the men and the documents kept together, and that General Siebert had agreed with my recommendation that we reconstitute the group as far as possible." - John R. Boker, Jr.
In 1946 Gehlen is transferred to the U.S. with part of his staff, another part stays in Germany. In the words of a CIA analyst: after the Nazis' return they work "first under U.S. Army and later CIA trusteeship, then  accepted by Bonn as the BND."
The BND has a permanent residency in Washington and BND personal is regularly briefed by CIA personal. As an example, a typical CIA memo from 1984 notes that BND Department Chief Dr.Rudolf Werner (responsible for Operation Gladio in Germany) "has been very receptive to encouragement and advice from CIA officers in Munich [HQ of BND in Germany] and Headquarters." Werner "BELIEVED THAT THE EMPHASIS MUST HENCEFORTH BE PLACED ON ACTIVE INTELLIGENCE COLLECTION IN BOTH PEACETIME AND WAR, AS DISTINCT FROM A STAYBEHIND PROGRAM RESERVED FOR ACTIVATION ONLY IN HOSTILITIES. HIS TERM FOR STAYBEHIND ASSETS NOW ON CASCOPE'S (CIA alias for BND) ROLES IS "SLEEPERS." the declassified momos note.
The BND has been spying on European politicians and enterprises at the behest of the NSA for over a decade. BND workers picked up on this – which had nothing to do with a bilateral US-Germany agreement signed in 2002 to pool efforts to combat "terrorism" – and have been complaining about it since at least 2008.
Involvement in state terrorism
- Full article: Operation Gladio
- Full article: Operation Gladio
The BND (alias: CASCOPE in referenced document) runs a stay-behind network subordinated to NATO's Central Planing Committee (CPC). The CPC is a secretive body run by CIA and U.S. Army officials in Brussels.
The stay-behind network consists of paramilitary right-wingers and Nazi Parties with access to weapons and explosives depots. For these other similarly fostered groups over 1000 "issues" are recorded per year in Germany, including murders and bombing campaigns. Control has shifted from the BND to other German services like MAD (military intelligence) and VS (Verfassungsschutz, FBI equivalent).
When the German Nazi Party NPD (Nazionalsozialistische Partei Deutschlands) should be forbidden in 2003, the German High Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) refused to decide on the grounds that the higher echelons of the party are run by secret agents of the VS and the NPD "misses distance to state organs". Ironically, the politicians who first initiated the case would later refuse to tell the court the identities of those agents.
In an interview in Die Zeit, former Chancellor and deep politics insider Helmut Schmidt said:
„Ich habe den Verdacht, daß sich alle Terrorismen, egal, ob die deutsche RAF, die italienischen Brigate Rosse, die Franzosen, Iren, Spanier oder Araber, in ihrer Menschenverachtung wenig nehmen. Sie werden übertroffen von bestimmten Formen von Staatsterrorismus“.
Translation:"I have a suspicion that all terrorisms no matter if it is the German RAF, the italian Brigate Rosse, the French, Irish, Spaniards or Arabs are similar in their contempt for mankind. They are seconded only by certain forms of state terrorism."
Asked what he meant by "state terrorism" he responded: "Let's leave it there. But I really mean what I say."
The BND was responsible for briefing the Iraqi defector known as 'Curveball' after he claimed asylum in Germany in 1999. His stories would later form the basis of a claim in George W. Bush's 2003 state of the union address that Iraq had mobile biological weapons labs.
- Reinhard Gehlen 1956-1968
- Gerhard Wessel 1968-1978
- Dr Klaus Kinkel 1979-1982
- Eberhard Blum 1982-1985
- Heribert Hellenbroich August 1985
- Dr Hans-Georg Wieck 1985-1990
- Konrad Porzner 1990-1996
- Dr Hansjörg Geiger 1996-1998
- Dr August Hanning 1998-2005
- Ernst Uhrlau 2005-
- Dr. Arndt Freiherr Freytag von Loringhoven Vice President
- Maj. Gen. Armin Hasenpusch Vice president for Military Affairs
- Werner Ober Vice President for Central Functions and Modernization
- Directorate GL: Situation Centre
- Directorate UF: Specialised Supporting Services
- Directorate EA: Areas of Operation/Liason
- Directorate TA: Signals Intelligence
- Directorate LA: Region A Countries
- Directorate LB: Region B Countries
- Directorate TE: Terrorism and International Organised Crime
- Directorate TW: Proliferation, NBC Weapons
- Directorate SI: Security
- Directorate TU: Technical Support
- Directorate TK: Technical Development
- Directorate UM: Relocation
- Directorate ZY: Central Services
- About BND, Bundesnchrichtendienst, accessed 5 September 2009.
- Daniele Ganser, NATO's Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe, Frank Cass, 2005, pp.200-201.
- National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 146, Released Under Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, February 4, 2005, accessed Nov 23, 2014, http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB146/index.htm
- CIC Memo: Report of Initial Contacts with General Gehlen's Organization, John R. Boker,May 1, 1952. http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB146/doc06.pdf
- CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM, The Service: The Memoirs of General Reinhard Gehlen by Reinhard Gehlen. Book review by Anonymous, 2 JULY 96, accessed Nov 23, 2014, https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol16no3/html/v16i3a06p_0001.htm
- CIA memo: CPC Support to SACEUR, Sept 6, 1984, accessed Sept 8, 2013, http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/document_conversions/1705143/ZUBER,%20EBRULF%20%20%20VOL.%202_0110.pdf
- Nationalsozialistischer Untergrund (NSU), Jul 31, 2013, accessed Nov 24, 2014, http://ueberhauptgarnix.blogspot.de/2012/09/uwe-mundlos-mitglied-der-nsu.html
- Giovanni di Lorenzo, "Ich bin in Schuld verstrickt", Interview with Helmut Schmidt, Die Zeit, Aug 30, 2007, accessed Nov 24, 2014, http://www.zeit.de/2007/36/Interview-Helmut-Schmidt/komplettansicht
- Bob Drogin, Curveball, Ebury Press, pp.366-367.
- Die Präsidenten des Bundesnachrichtendienstes, Das Bundesarchiv, accessed 5 September 2009.
- Structure, Bundesnachrichtendienst, accessed 5 September 2009.