Former Democrat President Barack Obama’s administration reportedly spied on U.S. allies in Europe and top European politicians – including German Chancellor Angela Merkel – by using Denmark’s Defense Intelligence Service (FE).
“The findings are the result of a 2015 internal investigation in the Danish Defense Intelligence Service into NSA’s role in the partnership,” Reuters reported. “According to the investigation, which covered the period from 2012 to 2014, the NSA used Danish information cables to spy on senior officials in Sweden, Norway, France and Germany, including former German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and former German opposition leader Peer Steinbrück.”
The alleged operation – dubbed “Operation Dunhammer” – allowed the NSA to obtain phone calls, texts, and chat messages to and from the official’s telephones.
Some of the reaction from European officials include:
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg: “It’s unacceptable if countries which have close allied co-operation feel the need to spy on one another.”
French President Emmanuel Macron: “If the information is correct, then that’s unacceptable between allies, and even less so between European allies. We expect complete openness and a clarification of the facts from our Danish and American partners.”
French Minister for European Affairs Clement Beaune: “These potential facts, they are serious, they must be checked.”
Former German opposition leader Peer Steinbrück said it was “grotesque that friendly intelligence services are indeed intercepting and spying on top representatives” of other countries, adding: “politically I consider it a scandal.”
German government spokesman Steffen Seibert: “The federal government has taken note of the report and is in contact with all relevant national and international bodies for clarification. As a matter of principle, and you already know this, I would ask you to understand that the federal government does not openly comment on matters concerning intelligence activities.”