The head of Germany's domestic BfV intelligence agency has expressed concern that Russia may try to interfere in the country's general elections next year.
In an interview with the Reuters news agency late on November 15, Hans-Georg Maassen cited the case last year of a Russian woman from Berlin who Russian media said was kidnapped and raped by migrants -- a claim later rejected by the German government.
"This could happen again next year and we are alarmed," Maassen said.
"We have the impression that this is part of a hybrid threat that seeks to influence public opinion and decision-making processes," he added.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said last week that there were signs of Internet attacks and misinformation campaigns from Russia.
U.S. intelligence officials warned in the run-up to the country's presidential election this month of a campaign to undermine the credibility of the vote that they believed was backed by Moscow.
Russian officials denied any such effort.
Based on reporting by Reuters