German Chancellor Angela Merkel inaugurates planet’s biggest spy agency HQ in Berlin
Berlin, Feb 13: German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week officially inaugurated the largest headquarters of any spy agency ever.
The 64-year-old leader led a public ceremony last Friday (February 8) that saw the opening of Zentrale des Bundesnachrichtendienstes - the new headquarters of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND), the country's main foreign spy agency.
It employs nearly 7,000 people in over 300 locations across the globe and its annual budget is almost 1 billion euros (Rs 8,000 crore).
Till recently, the BND's headquarters were located in the outskirts Munich in the German state of Bavaria. Last week, it was officially moved to downtown Berlin and its gigantic complex is located Berlin's affluent Mitte district. It is spread over an area of 2,60,000 square miles, and even the US's famous CIA complex at Langely, Virginia, comes second to it.
The construction of the massive structure began in 2006 and ended in 2017, six years after its initial schedule.
The Guardian, UK, reported that the new complex consists of 20,000 tons of steel and features 14,000 windows and 12,000 doors.
The site on which the complex is located used to house police barracks till it was badly damaged by bombing by the Allied Forces during the Second World War in 1945.