BERLIN -- A 60-year-old German civilian who worked at NATO's air command headquarters in Germany has been charged with stealing secret data, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
The suspect, identified only as Manfred K. in accordance with German privacy rules, was arrested Monday on charges of obtaining state secrets with the intent to provide them to an unidentified third party, prosecutors' spokesman Markus Koehler in a written statement.
The NATO employee is alleged to have obtained the data and then transferred it to his private computer.
The statement did not say when the data was allegedly stolen, who it was intended for, nor whether any of it was passed along. Koehler, reached by phone, would not comment further citing the ongoing investigation.
NATO has about 500 people working at its headquarters at the U.S. military's Ramstein Air Base, about 10 to 20 percent of whom are civilians. It coordinates the alliance's air operations, and is also the headquarters for NATO's new European-based missile defense system currently under development.
Though located near Ramstein in the western German state of Rhineland-Palatinate its operations are separate from the U.S. Air Force Europe, which is also headquartered there.
NATO's press office in Brussels refused to comment on the arrest because of the ongoing investigation.