US spied on European leaders with help of Denmark intelligence unit: Report

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Copenhagen [Denmark], May 31 (ANI): The United States spied on European leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel with the help of Denmark's foreign intelligence unit, according to Danish public broadcaster Danmarks Radio (DR).

According to Al Jazeera, the finding is the result of an internal investigation conducted by the Danish Defence Intelligence Service (FE) in 2014 and 2015.

According to the investigation, the US National Security Agency (NSA) used a collaboration with Intelligence Service to eavesdrop on Danish information cables to spy on senior officials in Sweden, Norway, France and Germany from 2012 to 2014.

In addition to Merkel, the NSA also spied on then-German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and former German opposition leader Peer Steinbruck, DR said.

The investigation found the NSA had access to extensive data streams that run through internet cables to and from Denmark and intercepted everything from text messages and telephone calls to internet traffic including searches, chats and messaging services.

Denmark, a close US ally, hosts several key landing stations for subsea internet cables to and from Sweden, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Snowden, the former NSA contractor-turned whistleblower, accused US President Joe Biden of being "deeply involved" in the case. The US leader was vice-president when Snowden blew the lid on the NSA's mass spying program.

"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," he tweeted.

The French government on Monday said the allegations are "extremely serious" if proven.

"It is extremely serious, we need to see if our partners in the EU, the Danes, have committed errors or faults in their cooperation with American services," Europe Minister Clement Beaune told France Info radio.

"Between allies, there must be trust, a minimal cooperation, so these potential facts are serious," said the minister. (ANI)