Denmark’s secret service helped the US National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a European media reports published on Sunday revealed.
The disclosure that the US had been spying on its allies first started coming to light in 2013, but it is only now that journalists have gained access to reports detailing the support given to the NSA by the Danish Defense Intelligence Service (FE).
The report showed that Germany’s close ally and neighbour cooperated with US spying operations that targeted the chancellor and president.
The then chancellor candidate for the German center-left socialist party (SPD), Peer Steinbrück, was also a target, the new report disclosed.
Secret service sources passed on the information to a team including Danish, Swedish and Norwegian broadcasters (DR, SVT and NRK respectively), as well as the French newspaper Le Monde, German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and German public broadcasters NDR and WDR.
DANISH GOVERNMENT INVOLVED?
The Danish government knew of the involvement of their country’s secret service in the NSA scandal by 2015 at the latest.
They began to collect information on the FE’s cooperation with the NSA between 2012 and 2014 in the secret Dunhammer report following the disclosures by the former NSA employee and whistle-blower Edward Snowden, NDR reported.
The information they gathered made it clear that the FE had helped the NSA to spy on leading politicians in Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and France, as well as Germany.
Danish intelligence also helped the US agency to spy on the Danish foreign and finance ministries as well as a Danish weapons manufacturer. The FE also cooperated with the NSA on spying operations against the US government itself.
Upon discovering exactly how far the cooperation between the two countries’ intelligence services went, the Danish government forced the entire leadership of the FE to step down in 2020.