Report: ‘Denmark Helped US Spy On European Leaders’
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – European Union leaders expressed concern Monday about reports that Denmark’s military intelligence agency helped the United States spy on leading European politicians, including the German chancellor, Angela Merkel.
Danish public broadcaster Denmarks Radio said the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) also used the Danish Defence Intelligence Service (FE) to spy on officials in Sweden, Norway, and France.
The alleged tapping of Merkel’s phone was first disclosed in 2013 by former Edward Snowden, the former intelligence contractor now hiding in Russia to avoid prosecution in the U.S.
The White House gave no outright denial at the time but said Merkel’s phone was not being bugged at the time and would not be in the future.
However, fresh revelations that Denmark’s secret service helped the U.S. spy on European politicians, including Merkel, from 2012 to 2014 raised new concerns.
The Defense Intelligence Service (FE) reportedly collaborated with the NSA to gather information, Denmarks Radio said. Intelligence was allegedly also collected on other officials from Germany, France, Sweden, and Norway.
The allegations are in an internal classified report on the FE’s role in the surveillance partnership agreement with the NSA from 2012 to 2014, Denmarks Radio reported. The broadcaster cited nine unidentified sources familiar with the investigation.
It said the NSA also used Danish information cables to spy on senior officials, including the former German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and then opposition leader Peer Steinbrück. “Politically, I view this as a scandal,” Steinbrück told German media.
It wasn’t clear whether the Danish government authorized the taps.
The Danish defense minister, Trine Bramsen, who took over the defense portfolio in June 2019, was reportedly informed of the espionage in August last year. She told Danmarks Radio that “systematic eavesdropping of close allies” was “clearly unacceptable.”
Other European politicians have condemned the reports. Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg told public broadcaster NRK: “It’s unacceptable if countries which have close allied co-operation feel the need to spy on one another.”
France’s Europe Minister Clement Beaune told France Info radio the allegations were “extremely serious.”
Neither the FE nor the NSA has yet commented on the latest reports.
Following the new report, Snowden accused U.S. President Joe Biden of being “deeply involved in this scandal the first time around.” Biden was U.S. vice-president when the reported surveillance occurred. There was no known immediate comment from the White House on Monday with the president busy attending U.S. Memorial Day commemorations remembering those who died in military service.
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