US spied on Merkel and European allies with help from Denmark, reports show

The United States spied on top European politicians, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, from 2012 to 2014 with the help of Danish intelligence services, Danish and European media reported on Sunday.

Danish public broadcaster Danmarks Radio (DR) said the US National Security Agency (NSA) tapped Danish internet cables to spy on key politicians and senior officials in Germany, Sweden, Norway and France.

The NSA took advantage of a surveillance collaboration with Denmark’s FE military intelligence unit to do so, she said.

Denmark’s Defense Ministry did not respond to AFP-Jiji’s requests for comment.

Defense Minister Trine Bramsen, who took over the defense portfolio in June 2019, was made aware of the espionage in August 2020, according to DR.

She told the broadcaster that “systematic listening to close allies is unacceptable”.

it was not clear whether Denmark allowed the United States to use its surveillance system to spy on its neighbors.

The Dr revealed the information following an investigation carried out in collaboration with the Swedish broadcaster SVT, the Norwegian NRK, the German NDR, WDR and Suddeutsche Zeitung, and the French Le Monde.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, then Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and opposition leader Peer Steinbruck were among those the NSA had spied on, said Dr.

The NSA was able to access text messages, phone calls and internet traffic, including searches, chats and messaging services, said Dr.

The espionage was detailed in a secret FE internal task force report titled “Operation Dunhammer” and presented to FE leadership in May 2015, said Dr.

The Dr said his information came from nine different sources who had access to classified FE information, and said their disclosures were independently confirmed by multiple sources.

Neither the FE nor its then director, Lars Findsen, immediately commented on the revelations.

US espionage, if confirmed, continued during and after the 2013 Snowden affair, which erupted when former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed thousands of classified documents exposing extensive US surveillance. set up after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Among other things, these documents showed that the US government was spying on its own citizens and eavesdropping on a large scale around the world, including on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone.

In November 2020, M. reported that the United States had used Danish cables to spy on Danish and European defense industries from 2012 to 2015.

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