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Kosovar officials have released three German intelligence service agents who were arrested on suspicion that they threw a small bomb Nov. 14 at the European Union headquarters in Pristina.

"There was not enough evidence to raise reasonable suspicion," Judge Vinod Boolell, one of three international judges who investigated the charges, told The Associated Press.

German media also are reporting that the German government placed political pressure on Kosovo officials.

According to the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, Germany’s chancellery department head Thomas De Maiziere called Kosovar government officials and threatened to cut Germany’s financial aid to Kosovo if the agents were not set free immediately.

Additionally, the German media reported that the intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst, or BND, was unhappy with the German government’s initial response to the arrests.

Bernd Uhrlau, head of the BND, said he has missed the support by the government necessary to help its agents.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper quoted another high-ranking BND member as saying: "The German government had allowed itself to be dragged by the nose through global politics by a country in which organized crime is the form of government."

Erich Schmidt-Eenboom, a German author who has written articles about the BND, told the Netzzeitung that he believes the agents had indeed carried out the bombing to make the international community more aware of the Kosovar struggle for independence.

The lack of casualties in the bombing also has the markings of the intelligence unit, Schmidt-Eenboom said. The building was damaged.

"They wanted something like a political bang, but took care that no one was hurt. Terrorists would have acted much more violently."

The three agents have been called to testify before a special commission of the German parliament this week.


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