Top German security official asks to clear name in spy probe

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's top security official has asked to appear before lawmakers to respond to claims they were misled about what the government knew of U.S. spy activity in Europe.

German media reported last week that the country's foreign intelligence agency may have known about and helped the U.S. National Security Agency spy on European officials and companies.

The reports contradict the government's assertion to Parliament earlier this month that it had no information about U.S. economic espionage.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, who helped oversee Germany's foreign intelligence agency from 2005-2009, said Wednesday the allegations were untrue and he wanted to clarify them "as quickly as possible."

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said Wednesday that the government "always informs Parliament to the best of its knowledge and in good faith."

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