Turkish-origin counterterror expert appointed vice president of German intel

Turkish-origin counterterror expert appointed vice president of German intel


Sinan Selen, a senior counterterrorism expert with Turkish roots, has been officially appointed as the vice president of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency BfV.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer announced Selen’s appointment at an official ceremony at the headquarters of the BfV in Cologne on Jan. 21.

The 47-year-old began his career in 2000 at the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and oversaw various investigations into foreign terrorist organizations between 2011 and 2016. He has also served as the head of Counterterrorism Task Force at the Interior Ministry.

Selen’s appointment came after multiple scandals at the BfV in recent years, which have sparked public criticism and led to accusations of operating sympathetically with the far-right groups, and covering up the murders of the neo-Nazi group NSU.

The shadowy NSU group killed eight Turkish and one Greek immigrant between 2000 and 2007, but the murders long remained unresolved.

While recent revelations have shown that the BfV had informants who had contacts with the NSU suspects, officials insisted that they had no prior information about the killings.

Germany has a 3 million-strong Turkish community, many of whom are second- and third-generation German-born citizens whose grandparents moved to the country during the 1960s.