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Intelligence agency blames Russia for trying to destabilise Germany

09 December 2016, 13:24

Berlin - Germany's domestic intelligence agency says Russia is trying to destabilise German society and the state with propaganda campaigns and cyber attacks.

The blunt warning from Germany's BfV agency comes less than a year before the country is expected to hold a general election.

Agency chief Hans-Georg Maassen said in a statement on Thursday that "there is growing evidence for attempts to influence the federal election next year".

His agency has seen an increase in "aggressive cyber-espionage" targeting German politicians.

Russia has been blamed for the hacking and release of Democratic National Committee emails before the US presidential election.

Maassen said "automated opinion forming" with so-called bots could be used to spread fake news on social media.

Russia has in previously strongly denied its involvement in orchestrating cyber attacks on foreign soil.

- AP

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