BERLIN (AP) — Germany today demanded Washington's top spy in Berlin leave the country as a new round of allegations of U.S. espionage worsened the friction between the two allies.
The immediate trigger was the emergence of two new cases of alleged American spying. They inflamed a furor that erupted last year when it was learned that the U.S. was intercepting Internet traffic in Germany and eavesdropping on Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone calls.
More broadly, the move to expel the CIA station chief appears to reflect a Germany out of patience with what it sees as a pattern of American disrespect and interference.
"The representative of the U.S. intelligence services at the United States Embassy has been asked to leave Germany," German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement.
"The request occurred against the backdrop of the ongoing investigation by federal prosecutors as well as the questions that were posed months ago about the activities of U.S. intelligence agencies in Germany," he added. "The government takes the matter very seriously."
U.S. officials described Germany's action as extraordinary.