The Stasi, also occasionally misspelt Stassi in-game, is one of 26 Criminal Organizations you may encounter, and appears in both the European and Africa/Middle East Theatres of Operation. "Stasi" is an abbreviation of "Ministerium für Staatssicherheit", the East-German secret police during the Cold War era.
In the GameEdit
The Stasi is regarded as a Criminal Organization.
The Stasi appears in two Theatres of Operation: Europe and Africa/Middle East. In these Theatres, it will have a Hideout in almost every City, though the location of each Hideout may not be known at the start of each Mission.
You may occasionally encounter Stasi agents Participating in Criminal Plots. It is also possible for the Stasi Mastermind to be the head of such a Plot, and if so that Mastermind must be Arrested - as with all 26 other Masterminds - in order to complete the entire game.
There is no fundamental difference between any Criminal Organization, and the Stasi is no exception.
In-Game Spelling ErrorEdit
The correct name for this organization is "Stasi". Unfortunately, in the game it is sometimes spelled incorrectly, thus sometimes rendered as "Stassi".
This spelling error has an important in-game effect: When Hacking terminals for the location of Stasi Hideouts, a query for "Stasi" will always return "NO DATA", wasting one query. The terminal is expecting the word "Stassi".
To avoid this problem, simply type in "Stas". This will give a match for "Stassi", and is easier to remember than figuring out how many letters S you need to type in.
Stasi is an abbreviation for "Ministerium für Staatssicherheit", which translates into English as "Ministry for State Security". Formed shortly after the end of the Second World War, the Stasi served as East Germany's internal security and secret police, rolled into one.
At the end of the Second World War, Germany was split into several "zones of influence", each controlled by one of the four major players in the European theatre, namely the United State, England, France and the Soviet Union. Berlin itself, capital of the 3rd Reich, was also split accordingly. It was not long before the areas belonging to the three Western allies joined together into a state known commonly as the Federal Republic of Germany, or "West Germany". The remainder of the country became a pseudo-communist vassal state under the strong influence of the Soviet government, called the Democratic Republic of Germany, or "East Germany". It was not long before the two parts of the country became physically separated - the East Germans erected a wall permanently splitting East and West Berlin, and a line of fortified defenses and guard posts along the border with West Germany.
The Soviets wasted little time, creating in 1951 a bureau of state security similar to their own KGB. Like the KGB, this new organization, the "Stasi", was responsible for thwarting Western espionage, but moreso for oppressing the population and maintaining what was essentially a Soviet puppet-dictatorship.
The Stasi's methods mirrored those of their Soviet counterparts, and included above all a massive surveillance of their own population. It is estimated that, including their vast array of informants (willing or otherwise), there was around 1 Stasi operative per 166 citizens - a whopping ratio that outmatched any internal security agency the world had ever (and to this day, has ever) seen.
Effectively, the Stasi was really nothing more than a branch of the KGB. The Soviets kept KGB agents attached to virtually every Stasi office, and eventually the two organizations became so friendly that Stasi agents operated as KGB agents and were given free access to KGB assets. This further allowed the Stasi to become one of the most effective security organizations ever to exist. It probably helped that, allegedly, many of the higher-ranking officers in the organization were ex-members of the Gestapo and other official Nazi Party strong-arm operations, who were quite familiar with effective methods of social repression.
Although the Stasi's operations were generally "mundane" for their designation as a secret police, such as through intimidation, arrest of dissidents, and the gathering information about everyone and anyone within their jurisdiction, the Stasi did "distinguish" themselves with several assassinations of political dissidents within and without East Germany.
In late 1989 (just prior to the release of Covert Action) during the climax of a series of political fumbles by the East German and Soviet governments, thousands of citizens from East Berlin marched upon the wall which had split their city in half, crossing the barriers without intervention from the guards. During the night, this quickly turned into a celebration of the end of the partition between East and West Berlin, as citizens began destroying the wall with improvised tools and even bare hands. Shortly thereafter, the East German government was dissolved, and the Stasi ceased to exist.