An investigation by the Danish state broadcaster Danmarks Radio (DR) has revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) of the United States allegedly used their partnership with Denmark’s foreign intelligence unit to spy on senior officials in France, Germany, Norway and Sweden.
DR cited unnamed sources who had access to the findings of a 2015 internal investigation by Danish Defense Intelligence Service (FE) into NSAs role in the partnership. The investigation was initiated after shocking disclosures by former NSA employee Edward Snowden in 2013 that the NSA was spying illegally on American citizens as well as global leaders. Most notably, Snowden’s documents had revealed that the NSA was monitoring German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s private cell phone prompting her to famously say, “Spying among friends – that is simply not done.”
According to the FE investigation that looked into the period between 2012 to 2014, some of the top officials spied upon include former German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and former German opposition leader Peer Steinbrük.
German Broadcaster ARD quoted Steinbrük as saying, “Politically, I consider it a scandal!”
Following the shocking revelations by DR, both France and Germany are “seeking full clarity” on the report’s findings. On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel who had been holding a virtual Franco-German summit, held a news conference.
Macron said, “I am attached to the bond of trust that unites Europeans and Americans,” adding that “there is no room for suspicion between us.” He went on to say, “That is why what we are waiting for complete clarity. We requested that our Danish and American partners provide all the information on these revelations and on these past facts. We are awaiting these answers.”
Merkel offered her position on the subject saying that she “could only agree” with Macron’s comments. Snowden meanwhile tweeted that US President Joe Biden should offer some answers, “Biden is well-prepared to answer for this when he soon visits Europe since, of course, he was deeply involved in this scandal the first time around. There should be an explicit requirement for full public disclosure not only from Denmark, but their senior partner as well.”
*Feature image: File picture of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron. Image courtesy Kremlin via Wikimedia Commons.