Thomas Haldwang, head of the BfV intelligence agency, also warned of an increased risk of sabotage in the wake of the war in Ukraine, recalling that Germany had exposed several Russian spies operating in the country in recent years.
Speaking at an event in Berlin, Haldwang said, “Today we are assessing the level of intelligence against Germany at least at the level of the Cold War.
The intelligence chief predicted that “in a world of open hostility and severe sanctions, the threshold for spying, sabotage and illicit influence will continue to fall.”
In the wake of the Kovit-19 epidemic and the war in Ukraine, BfV has stepped up surveillance on the activities of extremist groups and individuals who question the legitimacy of the state.
Haltonwang said the risk posed by these moves was heightened by foreign forces trying to promote anti-government propaganda through misinformation.
Interior Minister Nancy Fasser, Germany’s chief defense official, has recently accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of feeding “rusophobia” into the West since the start of the war in Ukraine.