Great Dane betrayal: US spies on European leaders with the help of Denmark

From 2012 to 2014 (and probably now), the United States spied on several European politicians, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with the help of Danish intelligence. That reports Danish and European media Sunday.

Danish public broadcaster Danmarks Radio (DR) reports that American intelligence agency NSA tapped Danish internet cables to spy on prominent politicians and senior officials in Germany, Sweden, Norway and France. The NSA used a security cooperation with the Danish military intelligence service FE. In and around Denmark, several submarine cables come together, making the Scandinavian country a strategic internet hub.

That the United States was spying on several European countries by tapping the Danish cable was already reported last year by a Danish whistleblower. The Danish broadcaster DR, in cooperation with the Swedish channel SVT, the Norwegian channel NRK, the German channels NDR and WDR, the newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and the magazine Le Monde, further investigated the espionage practices.

According to the recent publication, The Danish Secret Service actively participated in the Espionage of European allies. The Danish government may have been aware of the activities since 2015. According to DR, The Danish defence minister Trine Bramsen, who took office in June 2019, was informed of the case in August 2020. Bramsen did not want to make any specific comments, but merely stated that ‘systematic espionage by allies is unacceptable’.

The list of people who were tapped by the NSA includes Angela Merkel, then German Foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and then opposition leader Peer Steinbruck, according to Dr. The Americans would have had access to text messages, telephone calls and internet traffic, including searches, chats and e-mail services.

The espionage was described in detail in a secret internal report codenamed ‘Operation Dunhammer’ and presented to the top management of Danish intelligence in May 2015, according to Dr. the revelations are based on intelligence from nine sources that had access to classified information from FE, and independently confirmed by several other sources.

At the same time that American espionage would have taken place, the Snowden case came to light. In 2013, former CIA operative and System Administrator for NSA Edward Snowden revealed that the US government was spying on its own citizens and allies.

About the author: David Foster

With a background in international relations and a deep understanding of strategic intelligence, David Foster is a sought-after commentator on global security dynamics.

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