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Iraq’s Spy Calls Work ‘Fun’

April 30, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ In his first U.S. interview, a convicted spy said that providing allied secrets to Iraq in the months before the Gulf War was ``permanent fun, five days per week.″

``If there’s something I am unsatisfied about it’s that I didn’t (spy) for a longer time, or especially now where Iraq is again threatened by the United States,″ Juergen Gietler said on a ``60 Minutes″ segment scheduled to air Sunday.

Gietler, an archivist in the German Foreign Ministry, took NATO strategy documents sent to his office for archiving and passed along the information to the Iraqi military attache in Bonn. Among the documents were U.S. intelligence reports on Iraq’s Scud missile capability and deployment plans for U.S. stealth bombers.

Gietler, who had converted to Islam, admitted he received money from Iraq, but said it was not his primary motivation.

``I was on the Iraqi side,″ he told the CBS newsmagazine. ``I felt it was my duty. Whatever there was I would have turned it over to my controller. Spying for me, it was fun, permanent fun five days per week.″

Gietler said he met Iraq’s military attache, Gen. Osmat Joudi Mohammed, by chance at a restaurant and volunteered to supply the information.

``To me, the victims in Baghdad, and in other parts of Iraq were the important ones,″ Gietler said, even though the allies had not yet attacked Iraq when he was providing the documents.

Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait on Aug. 2, 1990, triggering the 1991 Gulf War.

Gietler was arrested by German police in August 1990 after counter-intelligence agents intercepted a phone call by Osmat. Gietler faced a secret trial in 1991 and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Gietler, who now works for an import-export business in Germany, said that any ``country that respects itself″ would have jailed him for much longer than five years.

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