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Danish intelligence service collaborates with US to spy on allies: media

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-05-31 10:08
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A police car blocks one of many entrance points into the National Security Administration facility in Fort Meade, Maryland, US, March 30, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

COPENHAGEN - Danish Defense Intelligence Service (FE) has given the US National Security Agency (NSA) open internet access to spy on senior politicians of neighboring countries, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Denmark's national broadcaster DR News reported on Sunday.

DR News, in collaboration with Swedish, Norwegian, German and French media, found out some "startling conclusions" in a secret internal investigation on the FE dubbed as "Operation Dunhammer" which was concluded in May 2015.

A significant conclusion in the Dunhammer report, according to DR News, is that the NSA has purposefully obtained data and thus been able to clandestinely spy on targeted heads of state, as well as neighboring Scandinavian leaders, top politicians, and high-ranking officials in Germany, Sweden, Norway, and France.

Danish Minister of Defense Trine Bramsen responded to media reports by sending an email to DR News, saying that the government will not "enter into speculation about any intelligence matters from the press or others ... systematic wiretapping of close allies is unacceptable."

However, the governments of Norway and Sweden are pressing the Danish government and demanding immediate answers about the alleged NSA espionage through Danish cables.

"We demand to be fully informed about matters concerning Swedish citizens, companies and interests. And then we have to see how the answer sounds from a political side in Denmark," Swedish Minister of Defense Peter Hultqvist told state broadcaster SVT on Sunday.

However, according to DR News' report, the information about the NSA's espionage through cooperation with the FE should already have been known by the defense minister as details were included in a four-volume statement that Bramsen received from the FE in August 2020.

In the statement, the FE was accused of obtaining and passing on information about Danish citizens, according to local media.

The defense minister in a press release has harshly criticized the failure by the FE's management to follow up on or investigate further signs of espionage within the area of the Ministry of Defense.

There are indications that the FE has "initiated operational activities in violation of Danish law," said the minister. Then FE head Lars Findsen was also suspended from service along with two other colleagues.

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