Ionosphere Institute? German foreign intelligence agency comes clean about secret sites

Germany's foreign intelligence agency is officially lifting the lid on some of its worst-kept secrets by acknowledging that half a dozen facilities are in fact spy stations.

The Federal Intelligence Service for decades maintained the facade that it had nothing to do with sites bearing cryptic names like "Ionosphere Institute."

But amateur sleuths long suspected their true identities and posted them online.

Agency head Gerhard Schindler invited reporters to attend a ceremony Friday in the Bavarian town of Bad Aibling at which the agency's logo will be officially attached to the entrance of a site previously called the "Telecommunications Traffic Office of the German Armed Force." It features several giant golf ball-shaped radomes commonly used for eavesdropping on radio, data and phone traffic.