Report: German Intelligence Agency Spied on FBI, US Arms Companies

Demonstration in front of Germany’s BND foreign intelligence service / AP
• November 11, 2015 4:45 pm


Germany’s BND foreign intelligence service spied on the FBI and U.S. arms companies, a public radio station in the country disclosed Wednesday.

The Associated Press reported:

The station [rbb-Inforadio] claimed that Germany’s BND also spied on the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the World Health Organization, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, and even a German diplomat who headed an EU observer mission to Georgia from 2008 to 2011. It provided no source for its report, but the respected German weekly Der Spiegel also reported at the weekend that the BND targeted phone numbers and email addresses of officials in the United States, Britain, France, Switzerland, Greece, the Vatican, and other European countries, as well as at international aid groups such as the Red Cross.

German government spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz  told journalists that the reports would be "investigated."

"The facts behind these various press reports will be comprehensively investigated and of course the chancellery is involved in this investigation," Wirtz said in Berlin.

The report comes two years after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the relationship between the U.S. and Germany had been "severely shaken" by reports that the NSA has eavesdropped on her cell phone.

"Trust needs to be rebuilt," Merkel said at the time.

Since the revelations about the NSA, German lawmakers have been probing the BND’s activities, especially those related to the U.S. agency.