Defunct Spy Station In Berlin Falsely Shared As Mosque In Turkey

BOOM found the original image is of a once thriving espionage hub in Berlin built by the USA to intercept communications between Soviets and Germans

An image of defunct antennas of a former National Security Agency (NSA) listening station built by USA during the Cold War to intercept Soviet and German communications in Berlin is viral with claims that it shows a mosque in Turkey.

The image shows a distant view of broken antenna covers at the former NSA listening station located at the top of Teufelsberg, a 260-foot hill in Berlin.

Posts in Hindi misidentify the remains of the Cold War structure as a Turkish mosque, "This is a mosque in Turkey. There power can be assumed from the rest of its architect. Don't fall on false idea, Red Fort, Taj Mahal and Qutub Minar, all were built by Hindus"

(Original Text in Hindi: ये है टर्की की मस्जिद, बाकी डिज़ाईन से अंदाजा लगा सकते हैं इनकी औकात का, कोई भी इस गलतफहमी में ना रहे कि लालकिला, ताजमहल, कुतुबमीनार, इन्हीं महान जादूगरों ने बनाया होगा)

See the image below.

Click here to see the post and here for an archived link.

The image has been viral on Facebook and Twitter as well since 2020.

The tweet is archived here.

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Fact Check

BOOM ran a reverse image search on the photograph and found news reports from as early as 2013, featuring the same image .

We found an article published on December 21, 2013 by international wire agency Reuters, which used the image. NDTV, in an article published on November, 2013 also carried the same image.

Taking cue from these above articles BOOM found the image on the picture archives of Reuters. The image was clicked by Fabrizio Bensch on November 5, 2013.

Caption of the image reads, "Antennas of the former National Security Agency (NSA) listening station are seen at the Teufelsberg hill, or Devil's Mountain in Berlin, November 5, 2013. Germany's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday it had asked the British ambassador to come and discuss a report that Britain was operating a covert spying station in Berlin, using hi-tech equipment housed on the embassy roof. Documents leaked by former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden show that Britain's surveillance agency is operating a network of "electronic spy posts" from within a stone's throw of the Bundestag and German chancellor's office, British newspaper Independent reported. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch (GERMANY - Tags: CITYSPACE POLITICS)"

An article published on Germany's state broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) highlights history of this spy station, which was built during the Cold War by the US Intelligence in a bid to intercept Soviet radio communications with the East German officials. The station was built on a man-made hill, made mostly out of city rubble from World War II.

Excerpts from the article read, "During the Cold War, US intelligence wanted to build a listening station in West Berlin to intercept Soviet radio communications. Testing throughout West Berlin revealed Teufelsberg, a manmade hill in the Grunewald forest, had ideal conditions for such a center. In 1963, the Americans built Field Station Berlin atop the hill. The station consisted of a series of white towers, buildings and domes. What exactly happened inside is still classified — until at least 2020 — but operations to intercept and jam Soviet communications continued until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The station was then shut down and stripped of its equipment."

Multiple Images of same building of NSA's spy station also available on Reuters archive that can be seen here.

Bloomberg also carried a feature of the now defunct spy station which used to be a thriving hub of Cold War espionage.

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Updated On: 2021-01-12T16:27:01+05:30
Claim Review :   Image shows Architect of a Mosque in Turkey
Claimed By :  Facebook Posts & Twitter Users
Fact Check :  False
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