Ernst Uhrlau

Ernst Uhrlau (born 7 December 1946 in Hamburg ) is a German retired civil servant and member of the SPD. He was from December 2005 to December 7, 2011 President of the Federal Intelligence Service ( BND) and is working as a freelance consultant for the German bank since the beginning of February 2012.


After graduation in 1967 at the Gymnasium Eppendorf Uhrlau studied political science, sociology and economics at the University of Hamburg. In 1974 he became a teacher at the National Police School of Hamburg; 1975-1981 he worked as personal assistant of the Interior and head of offices under Senator Werner Staak and Alfons Pawelczyk in the Hamburg authority. Subsequently, he worked as its director from 1981 to 1991, deputy director of the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Hamburg and from 1991 to 1996. 1996 Ernst Uhrlau was appointed Chief of Police of Hamburg.

Career in Berlin

In 1998 Uhrlau in the capital, where he ( Federal Intelligence Service, Coordination of Federal intelligence services ) in the Federal Chancellery was as Secretary Head of Division VI. As representatives of the intelligence coordinator - the Chief of the Chancellery - Uhrlau was there the interface between the federal government and the federal intelligence service, the Federal Office for Protection of the Constitution ( BFV ) and the Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD). To become known successes of his work from the Uhrlau as " honest broker" mediated prisoner exchange heard in January 2004 between Israel and the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah terror.

By December 1, 2005 Uhrlau took over as successor to August Hanning, the Office of the President of the Federal Intelligence Service. His first case in this office was the abduction of the archaeologist Susanne Osthoff.

The scandal surrounding the abduction of the German - Lebanese Khaled al Masri Uhrlau admitted in 2006 that the BND was informed, however, had not passed this information immediately. The federal government ordered a reorganization of the BND - tip, since three vice-presidents stood by the Uhrlau aside.

Was positively perceived the role of the BND in the investigation for tax evasion in Liechtenstein and re- mediation in a further exchange between Israel and Hezbollah.

In April 2008 Uhrlau was confronted with calls for his resignation after the Federal Intelligence Service in 2006 the Afghan Trade and Industry Minister Amin Farhang monitored while also emails the Spiegel reporter Susanne Koelbl had recorded. In a personal interview to Uhrlau had apologized loudly Koelbl with her. Another setback this year was the arrest of three BND agents in Kosovo after the bombing of the EU office in Pristina, was not informed about the Uhrlau by his own authority.

In connection with the examination of the extent German intelligence who supported the Iraq war, Uhrlau complained about the " scandal of actions that have long since set out in the secret government report on the allegations. We sit at the shorter lever: The confidentiality requirements prevent us often to refute accusations by bringing the true facts to the public ".

Uhrlau was 1 January 2012 replaced as head of the Federal Intelligence Service of Gerhard Schindler ( FDP). Since February 2012, he advises the German bank.


Uhrlau is married and the father of two grown sons.


  • 2009: Grand Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria