In an article entitled “A German Secret Service Report Reveals Berlin’s Ambitions in North Africa” published on December 1, 2021 by Tunisie-Telegraph.com and in a slightly amended form on December 2, 2021 by rue.20.com and since circulated more widely in the Maghreb states, it is claimed that excerpts from a German secret service paper allegedly written by Dr. Isabelle Werenfels have been published in German media. Frau Werenfels is further claimed to be an employee of The Foreign Intelligence Service of Germany (Bundesnachrichtendienst). All of the assertions and quotations in the initial articles are untrue.
The truth is that Dr. Isabelle Werenfels is a respected scholar who has carried out research on the Maghreb states at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik/ German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) since 2001, where she was head of the Near/Middle East and Africa research division from 2014 to 2018.
The SWP is an independent research institution that advises the German Bundestag and the Federal Government as well as European and international institutions and organisations on foreign and security policy issues.
It is funded largely by the German Federal Chancellor’s Office and is independent in the conduct of its research and advisory activity (see https://www.swp-berlin.org/en/swp/about-us/fundamentals). It publishes the findings of its researchers transparently on its website at https:www.swp-berlin.org/en/.
The SWP is most anxious to ensure that research cooperation with important partners continues on a basis of trust and confidence.