Germany’s foreign intelligence agency eavesdropped on calls made by US Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessor Hillary Clinton, German magazine Der Spiegel has reported.
The weekly magazine reported that the agency, known by its German acronym BND, tapped a satellite phone conversation Mr Kerry made in 2013 as part of its surveillance of telecommunications in the Middle East. The agency also recorded a conversation between Ms Clinton and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan a year earlier, Der Spiegel claimed.
The magazine did not give a source for its information, but said the calls were collected accidentally, that the three officials were not directly targeted, and the recordings were ordered destroyed immediately. In Ms Clinton’s case, the call reportedly took place on the same “frequency” as a terror suspect, according to Der Spiegel.
The alleged tapping of Clinton’s call was reported on Friday 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 US intelligence agency’s targets.
A spokesman for the US embassy in Berlin and the State Department in Washington declined to comment on the latest reports.
In its report on Saturday, 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 did not immediately respond to a request for comment.