Denmark under pressure to respond to claims it helped US spy on neighbors

Copenhagen, May 31 (EFE).- Danish government ministers are coming under pressure to respond to allegations that the country’s foreign intelligence services helped the United States spy on top European politicians, including the German chancellor Angela Merkel.

An investigative report by public broadcaster DR and other European media claimed that from 2012-14 the Defence Intelligence Service (FE) collaborated with the NSA to tap communications between Merkel and her erstwhile foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, now the German president.

Officials from France, Sweden and Norway were also spied on, the report said.

Members of two left-wing parties that offer support to the Social Democrats’ minority government in the Danish parliament have called on defense minister Trine Bramsen and justice minister Nick Hækkerup to offer explanations.

According to DR, which cites nine unnamed sources with access to classified material, a confidential report carried out by the FE in 2015 concluded that the NSA had spied on politicians from neighboring countries via Danish intelligence.

The report was filed with the FE’s top brass, who apparently chose not to address the situation.

In 2018, an investigation into the FE’s practices was opened up following a tip-off from an informant. Its conclusion heavily criticized the Danish foreign intelligence agency, leading to the dismissal of several senior staff members and the creation of a commission, although it did not mention NSA wiretaps.

Neither the FE nor the NSA has officially commented on the accusations.

“The government cannot comment on speculation about intelligence issues, which are handled by the respective commissions in parliament,” Bramsen said in a brief statement sent to DR.

Bramsen added that “systematic wiretapping of close allies is unacceptable.”EFE


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