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Germans may have misplaced plans for high-tech spy headquarters

Germany is investigating reports that the blueprints for the future headquarters of its BND intelligence agency have gone missing, or been stolen.

Germany bnd spies 7 12 2011Enlarge
Workers and a video camera are seen on the construction site of the new headquaters of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) on November 15, 2010 in Berlin. The new headquarters, located in the city's heart, will cost approximately 1.5 billion euros and is expected to be completed by 2014. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images) (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images)

Germany is investigating reports that a set of blueprints its future BND spy headquarters under construction in Berlin may have been missing for up to a year.

Several media were citing a German-language report in Focus magazine which, if confirmed, would likely pose a serious security risk — and be a huge embarrassment for the spy agency.

According to the Telegraph:

The plans for the new building included details on alarms, emergency exits, wall thickness and the locking systems designed to protect the 4,000 personnel who will work there. Focus also said the blueprints could have been missing for a year before anyone noticed their absence.

The BND — or Bundesnachrichtendienst — is currently headquartered near Munich, but the decision was taken following reunification to move it to Berlin, the BBC reports.

Construction of the $2.3 billion agency headquarters — set to be one of the most expensive and hi-tech government structures in Germany — in a former East German district of the capital began in 2006 and is scheduled for completion in 2014.

Focus magazine reportedly quotes an unnamed intelligence official as saying the highly detailed plans had disappeared.

The Telegraph uses the word "stolen" and reports that "suspicion for the crime has fallen on contractors involved in the construction of the new headquarters."

"It's obvious the papers were passed on from there," a BND representative reportedly told Die Welt newspaper.

A government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a regular news conference that, "It has not yet been possible to verify the authenticity of the reports, but an investigation was launched into the matter on Friday."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/germany/110712/germany-bnd-spies