Spying on European allies: Americans and Danes summoned to explain

Spying on European allies: Americans and Danes summoned to explain
Spying on European allies: Americans and Danes summoned to explain

According to an investigation by Danish public television Danmarks Radio (DR) broadcast on Sunday evening with several other European media, Washington used the Danish submarine cable network at least until 2014 to listen to personalities from four countries (Germany , Sweden, Norway, France), among which Angela Merkel.

If the information is correct […] it is not acceptable between allies and even less between allies and European partners, reacted at the end of a Franco-German cabinet meeting in Paris Emmanuel Macron, whose words the German Chancellor immediately approved.

No room between us for suspicion

I am attached to the bonds of trust that unite Europeans and Americans and there is no room between us for suspicion, added the French president. That is why what we expect is complete clarity. We have asked that our Danish and American partners provide all the information on these revelations and on these past facts and we are awaiting these answers..

I can only associate myself with the words of Emmanuel Macron, replied Angela Merkel. I was reassured that the Danish government, including the Minister of Defense, has also made it very clear what it thinks about these things. […] It is a good basis not only for clarifying the facts, but also for building trusting relationships., she added.

Asked the same day by AFP, the White House, the US State Department and the US Intelligence Agency (NSA) declined to comment.

Washington’s spying on its European allies at the highest level has been widely known since the revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden, but the role that some European Union countries could have played in the operation is further increasing. the scope of the scandal.

SMS, calls, internet traffic

According to DR, the NSA was able to access text messages, phone calls and internet traffic, including searches, chats and messaging services from officials, also including then-German Foreign Minister Frank- Walter Steinmeier.

What did Copenhagen know?

This espionage of leaders, made possible thanks to the collaboration of the services in the program XKeyscore, could it have taken place without his knowledge?

DR’s revelations are based on a confidential Danish Military Intelligence (FE) report. Baptized Operation Dunhammer, it had been ordered on an unknown date by FE management after the Snowden affair – suggesting that the service might not have been aware – and then delivered in May 2015.

Asked by AFP, FE declined to comment. Without speaking directly to the facts, Defense Minister Trine Bramsen ruled unacceptable, in a brief press release, systematic espionage of close allies.

It is unacceptable if countries which have close cooperation among allies feel the need to spy on each other., also estimated the Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg.

That’s why we want to know as much as possible from Denmark. He set up a commission of inquiry. We requested the information in its possession, she said, quoted by NRK radio and television.

Sweden also said it asked for an explanation.

The case sheds new light on the dismissal in August 2020 of FE chief Lars Findsen, his predecessor, Thomas Ahrenkiel – then promised a post of ambassador to … Berlin – and three other agents. They had been fired by Mrs Bramsen who, according to DR, was rightly informed of the spying of Europeans at the same time.

The precise reason for their exclusion has never been made public. But the government criticized them for having hidden essential and crucial information and provided incorrect information based on information obtained between 2014 and 2020.

The service was also criticized for having obtained so not allowed information about Danish citizens and not have followed or investigated further indications of espionage.

These are new pieces of the puzzle. This is exactly the same scandal as the one showing that the German services helped the Americans to spy a few years ago.

A quote from:Thomas Wegener Friis, an intelligence expert at the University of Southern Denmark

The only Nordic country that is a member of both NATO and the EU, Denmark is among the United States’ closest allies in Europe.

As for Edward Snowden, who now lives in Russia, he called on Twitter Copenhagen and Washington for transparency complete in this file.

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