German intel spied on Kerry and Clinton, targeted Turkey: Report
BERLIN – The Associatead Press
Picture taken August 4, 2010 shows US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holding up a cell phone as she explains how Americans can donate via text message to aid in helping victims of flooding in Pakistan. AFP photo
Germany's foreign intelligence agency eavesdropped on calls made by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessor Hillary Clinton, German magazine Der Spiegel reported Aug. 16, as it also said the German intelligence targeted Turkey.
The news weekly reported that the agency, known by its German acronym BND, tapped a satellite phone conversation Kerry made in 2013 as part of its surveillance of telecommunications in the Middle East. The agency also recorded a conversation between Clinton and former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan a year earlier, Der Spiegel claimed.
The magazine didn't give a source for its information, but said the calls were collected accidentally, that the three officials weren't directly targeted, and the recordings were ordered destroyed immediately. In Clinton's case, the call reportedly took place on the same "frequency" as a terror suspect, according to Der Spiegel.
The tapping of Clinton's call was reported Aug. 15 by German public broadcaster ARD and Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
If true, the revelations would be embarrassing for the German government, which has spent months complaining to Washington about alleged American spy activity in Germany. Last year German media reports based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden prompted a sharp rebuke from Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was allegedly among the U.S. intelligence agency's targets.
A spokesman for the U.S. embassy in Berlin declined to comment on the latest reports.
In its report, Der Spiegel also cited a confidential 2009 BND document listing fellow NATO member Turkey as a target for German intelligence gathering.
The Germany intelligence agency didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.