MADRID: Spain has expelled two US embassy staff who managed to infiltrate the Spanish CNI intelligence service by bribing two of its officers, El Pais newspaper reported on Thursday.

Government ministers had on Monday confirmed a report first published by the El Confidencial news website about the arrest of two Spanish intelligence officers on charges of passing on confidential information to Washington, without giving further details.

Suspicions first came to light after the two CNI agents were noticed accessing classified information that was not part of their remit, the paper said, though it remains unclear what information they passed on. They were recruited by the two spies based at the US embassy who have since been kick­ed out of Spain, El Pais said.

“At least two US agents stationed at the US Embassy in Madrid, who were directly involved in the recruitment of CNI spies, have been discreetly expelled from Spain,” the paper said.

The affair raised eyebrows as both Spain and the United States are Nato members that have a good relationship. El Pais said both Defence Minister Margarita Robles and Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares had separately spoken to the US ambassador to ask for an explanation.

Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2023

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