Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Germany Spied on Both U.S. and Israel: Report

Germany’s federal intelligence agency, the BND, has spied on friendly governments including Israel and the United States, the weekly magazine der Spiegel reported.

Targets of “monitoring” based on picked-up keywords included the office of Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the U.S. State Department, as well as offices of Austria’s Interior Ministry and the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense, the magazine reported Saturday.

According to the report, the head of Germany’s intelligence agency, Gerhard Schindler, said in 2013 that spying on friendly nations and NATO partners was off limits. However, such intelligence gathering did not stop entirely.

Since the fall, a parliamentary oversight committee has been investigating the activities of the BND and determined the agency set its intelligence-gathering sights on targets outside its legal and contractual jurisdiction, Spiegel reported.

The magazine said the BND continued to spy on the European aerospace firm Eurocopter, now known as Airbus Helicopters, and on the multinational European Union air defense corporation called European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company, since 2014 known as Airbus Group SE, even after it was learned that the U.S. National Security Agency had used Germany to illegally gather information about these agencies.

The new parliamentary report also reveals the BND of its own accord spied on the United Nations’ international narcotics control program, OPEC, the International Monetary Fund, NASA and the U.S. Air Force.

There were no details provided on when the Prime Minister’s Office of Israel was under surveillance and what kind of information was picked up.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.