Denmark probes report of spying among Iraqi interpreters



Denmark is investigating a report that some of the interpreters who served with Danish forces in Iraq passed on sensitive information about coalition troops to Iraqi insurgents, a Defense Ministry spokeswoman said Monday.

Major Torsten Lind Thomsen, the former head of Danish military intelligence in Iraq, was quoted in the Nyhedsavisen newspaper as saying that at least three interpreters who worked with Danish troops in Basra were spies for the insurgents.

“We are in the process of looking into the basis for the information published by Nyhedsavisen,” Defense Ministry spokeswoman Pernille Rohdeneier said.

The fate of Iraqi interpreters became an emotional issue in Denmark before the troops withdrew in August because of concerns they would be punished by insurgents for having worked for the US-led coalition.

In July the Danish government secretly evacuated about 200 Iraqi civilians - interpreters, other aides and their families so they could seek asylum in Denmark.

Lind Thomsen did not say whether the alleged spies were among the evacuees and did not specify what information they allegedly had passed on to insurgents.

Rohdeneier said that there was no indication that any classified information had been leaked from the Danish contingent of about 480 troops, which served under British command in Basra.“Our policy is such that local employees of the army in such situations do not have access to any sensitive information,” she said. (AP)

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