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The German defense ministry is pictured through a fence in Berlin, Germany, on July 9, 2014. German authorities are investigating a second spy case reportedly involving the U.S., a week after the arrest of a German intelligence employee cast a new shadow over relations between the two countries. / Maurizio Gambarini, AP

BERLIN - Germany is investigating a second case of a German allegedly spying for the United States. The country is already outraged over allegations that the National Security Agency (NSA) carried out mass surveillance of both politicians and voters.

Federal prosecutors told the Associated Press on Wednesday that police raided properties in the Berlin area on "initial suspicion of activity for an intelligence agency." They did not make an arrest or add further detail, but the daily newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported the suspect is employed at the Defense Ministry.

"We are investigating two cases of suspected espionage," Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, confirmed without adding further details at a news conference in Berlin on Wednesday.

The investigation follows the arrest of a German intelligence employee last week on charges of spying for the United States and other countries. Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported authorities caught onto him after he solicited the Russians via e-mail.

U.S.-German relations are already tense after NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden last year showed the U.S. spy agency monitored Merkel's cellphone.

Snowden, who is in Russia, reapplied for asylum there Wednesday as it expires at the end of the month, his lawyer told Russia Today.

Merkel, who has not often spoken about the NSA case, rebuked the United States after the first spying case came to light.

"If the allegations are true, it would clearly contradict what I consider to be trusting cooperation between agencies and partners," Merkel said.

The NSA spying allegations - which included the mass monitoring of ordinary Europeans' communication - have caused distrust of the United States in Germany, where data protection laws are among the strictest in the world in response to the legacy of state control by the Nazis and later the Stasi, the East German secret police.

"It's deeply shocking - the revelations keep coming," said Jan Philipp Albrecht, a lawmaker from Germany in the European Parliament. "It gives the impression that the (United States) sees you as their worst enemy. It has caused a deep loss of trust.

"People can't understand this mass surveillance - or that they are seen as potential terrorists and a threat to security," he said. "And that this is coming (from an ally), not where it usually does: a repressive state."

Some say that although they may not like it, the spying is to be expected.

"They should not be spying on anyone without any reason ? but you know you are being spied on just from being on the Internet," said Marc Michael, 33, in Berlin. "But I think that the (United States) is like every other government who has their own (spy) organization: They should prove that they spy on people who they have an issue with, not just normal, regular people."



Copyright 2014USAToday

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