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Germany's Spy Targets Included FBI, UNICEF, US Weapons Makers

New reporting adds to controversy over intelligence agency's activities

A sign held at a Stop Watching Us demonstration in Berlin in 2013.  (Photo: mw238/flickr/cc)

While Chancellor Angela Merkel claimed in 2013, "Spying among friends is never acceptable," a new media report alleges that the lengthening list of targets of Germany's intelligence agency included the FBI, the UN children's agency, and a German diplomat.

The German public radio station, RBB Inforadio, said Wednesday that the agency, the BND, also spied on French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, the International Court of Justice in The Hague, weapons maker Lockheed Martin, and the World Health Organization.

Reuters described the new reporting, which does not identify the source of the allegations, as "the latest twist in a growing scandal over the activities of Germany's BND stemming from revelations in 2013 by U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden."

An inquiry by the German parliament already revealed earlier this year that the BDN helped the NSA, with whom it's had a cozy relationship, carry out surveillance against "top officials at the French Foreign Ministry, the Elysee Palace, and European Commission." And last month reporting by the public radio station and Spiegel Online claimed that the BND had also spied of its own accord on "European states and allies."

In addition, just this weekend the news publication Der Spiegel claimed that the BND's surveillance targets included the U.S. Department of the Interior, interior ministries of EU states, and NGOs including Oxfam and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

In the wake of the latest reporting, Green Party lawmaker Konstantin von Notz tweeted: "The utterances of the Merkel government after #Snowden are a foreign policy embarrassment of the first order."

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