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Germany asks top U.S. intelligence official to leave over spy scandal

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US embassy in GermanyGermany asked the top U.S. intelligence official at the Berlin embassy on Thursday to leave the country, a highly unusual step reflecting the deep anger within Angela Merkel's government at the discovery of two suspected U.S. spies within a week.

The scandal has plunged ties between Germany and one of its closest allies to a new low following last year's revelations from former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden about widespread surveillance of Germans, including Merkel.

"The request was made in light of the ongoing investigation by the chief federal prosecutor and questions that have been raised for months about the activities of U.S. intelligence services in Germany," Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

On Wednesday, Berlin said it had discovered a suspected U.S. spy in the defence ministry. That came just days after a German foreign intelligence worker was arrested on suspicion of being a CIA informant and admitted passing documents to a U.S. contact.

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